Psychological exam could delay resolution of Chew case

The attorney for one of six teens accused in the fatal stabbing of Matthew Chew in New London two years ago told a Superior Court judge this week that he intends to have his client evaluated by a psychologist.

Defense attorney Peter E. Scillieri said he would be arraigning a psychological evaluation for Matias Perry, 19, who is charged with accessory to commit murder. Scillieri said the exam likely would be conducted by Frank J. Stoll or Marshall Gladstone, who are Hartford area psychologists with experience evaluating defendants in criminal cases.

News that the evaluation could stall the resolution of the case by several months came as a disappointment to Marilyn Chew, the mother of the 25-year-old victim. She wondered why Scillieri waited so long to have his client evaluated.

“Really, you’re waiting almost two years to decide? To me it’s a delay tactic, but I guess that’s how things work,” Chew said in a phone conversation. She said she would never want it said later that anything was not done properly in the case.

State’s Attorney Stephen M. Carney has extended plea offers to the remaining five defendants in the case now that 19-year-old Idris Elahi, said to be the lead aggressor, has pleaded guilty to stabbing Chew and been sentenced to 35 years in prison.

Perry, who has been incarcerated since his arrest on Dec. 1, 2010, is mulling an offer from the state to plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a 15-year prison sentence. Should he reject the offer and be convicted at trial, he could be sentenced to up to 60 years in prison.

Defense attorneys often have clients evaluated soon after their arrest to determine if there are mitigating factors that could be used to their advantage during pretrial discussions. In the Perry case, Scillieri said he needs the information as he prepares for trial.

“This is not in pursuit of mitigation, necessarily, but is part of trial prep, because this is the path the case may well be on because of circumstances beyond my control,” Scillieri said.

Earlier this week, Judge Susan B. Handy told one of Perry’s co-defendants, 19-year-old Rahshad Perry (no relation), that he should expect to go to trial in January. Rahshad Perry turned down the same 15-year prison sentence offered to Matias Perry.

The judge said that the state may seek permission to try the cases of Rahshad and Matias Perry simultaneously. The two teens received the same plea offer from the state, since neither cooperated by testifying at a probable cause hearing in Elahi’s case.

The three teens who did testify — Tyree Bundy, Brian Rabell and Marquis Singleton — have received offers involving shorter sentences. Their cases are on hold until the Perry cases are resolved.

According to testimony, the six met up at Elahi’s house, watched television, then came up with a plan to jump somebody at random. Rahshad Perry allegedly dared Elahi to stab somebody.

Once downtown, they targeted another man, but he got into a car and drove away. They spotted Chew wearing a tan baseball cap and walking alone on Huntington Street. The teens said they split up in case Chew attempted to run. Matias Perry asked him if he had a lighter, then hit Chew in the face when Chew reached into his pocket, according to testimony.

The others joined in the attack. Chew attempted to break loose and run away and asked why he was being attacked, according to the teens’ testimony. They said Elahi ran up and started striking Chew in the abdomen. He then handed the knife off to one of the others.

k.florin@theday.com

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