A 12-member jury took a little less than two hours Monday in New London Superior Court to convict a Lisbon man of recklessly running over Stephen A. Germano with his pickup truck three years ago and fleeing the scene.
The jury found Kevin S. Bialowas, 48, guilty of the lesser charge of second-degree manslaughter and evading responsibility in connection with the death of Germano, 33, in Norwich on July 14, 2009.
Bialowas, driving a Ford F-150 pickup truck, hit Germano at the intersection of Elm Avenue and East Town Street during a dispute involving Bialowas' female passenger, Jennifer Sanford. Bialowas, who had been released from a halfway house hours earlier after serving a six-month stint for tax evasion, did not stop or report the incident to police.
Germano died six days later of blunt traumatic injuries.
The trial started on Sept. 24, and the jury began deliberations Monday afternoon. Bialowas was initially charged with murder, but Judge Arthur C. Hadden gave the jury the option of convicting him of the lesser charges of first-degree or second-degree manslaughter, which are felonies, or negligent homicide, which is a misdemeanor.
Bialowas faces up to 20 years in prison when Hadden sentences him on Dec. 10. Prior to the trial, the state had offered Bialowas the opportunity to plead guilty to manslaughter in exchange for a 15-year prison sentence.
"In light of the offer we made, the state and the jury seemed to be on the right page," said prosecutor Stephen M. Carney. "We respect the jury's decision."
Bialowas has been held in prison in lieu of a $1 million bond while his case was pending. Hadden reduced the bond to $600,000 after the verdict was announced. Defense attorney John E. Franckling could not immediately be reached for comment.
No relative of Germano's had attended the trial, but Tuesday, Germano's cousin, Michael Evangelista of El Paso, Texas, said he has been following news stories about the case and would be attending Bialowas' sentencing.