Login  /  Register  | 3 premium articles left before you must register.

Groton manslaughter case headed to trial

By Karen Florin

Publication: theday.com

Published July 31. 2012 4:00PM   Updated July 31. 2012 4:10PM

Jury selection is under way in Superior Court in Norwich for the trial of Dirren Conyers, who is accused of fatally strangling José Cartagena during a melee in Groton four years ago.

The trial is expected to begin Aug. 27 before Judge Barbara Bailey Jongbloed and to last two to three weeks.

Conyers, 35, has been free on a $250,000 bond while his case was pending. He is charged with first-degree manslaughter and first-degree unlawful restraint. In opting for a trial, he turned down three plea offers from the state. The first offer involved a 15 year prison sentence. The second offer involved a 10 year sentence and third offer was for six years served.

Assistant State’s Attorney Christa L. Baker is prosecuting the case and attorney Tina Sypek D’Amato is representing Conyers.

According to court documents, Cartagena, 36, died April 13, 2008, after becoming entangled with a group of people who had gathered outside a house on Miami Court after closing time at Sully’s Cafe, a local bar. At one point, seven or eight people were kicking and punching him as he lay on the ground, according to a witness.

Conyers is accused of placing Cartagena in a choke hold until he stopped breathing. Police also charged a second man, James D. Smith, with unlawful restraint, third-degree assault and second-degree breach of peace. Smith’s case is pending.

Town News

Visit Zip06
Submit Your:  Submit Your News Submit Your Photos Submit Your Events
Most Recent Poll
What was the most memorable moment in the history of the summer Olympics?
Muhammad Ali lights the Olympic cauldron at the 1996 Games in Atlanta.
8%
U.S. underdog Rulon Gardner defeats three-time Olympic champion wrestler Aleksandr Karelin of Russia.
5%
Kerri Strug ensures victory for the 1996 U.S. gymnastics team while vaulting on an injured ankle.
18%
U.S. track and field athlete Jesse Owens wins four gold medals at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. The Nazis had sought to use the games to showcase German superiority.
36%
American swimmer Mark Spitz wins seven gold medals at the 1972 games in Munich.
11%
Tommie Smith and John Carlos, of the U.S., raise their gloved fists on the medal podium at the 1968 games in Mexico.
5%
Michael Phelps wins eight gold medals at the 2008 games in Beijing.
18%
Number of votes: 1110

No current items found