Teen admits to crime spree, denies animal cruelty

Nineteen-year-old Safi Kachmar of Norwich pleaded guilty today in New London Superior Court to burglarizing three homes and setting fire to a pickup truck in 2011, but balked when a judge asked him to admit he assaulted a homeowner’s dog during one of the break-ins.

Kachmar will be sentenced March 13 to up to five years in prison followed by five years probation for first-degree larceny, three counts of third-degree burglary and conspiracy to commit third-degree arson. He admitted to all of the crimes but denied assaulting a 200-pound bull mastiff during a burglary on Thames View Road in Norwich on Sept. 7, 2011. The homeowner, John Wuorio, told Judge Susan B. Handy he had to euthanize his pet after the burglars struck it with a hatchet, dislocating its hip, and sprayed chlorine bleach in its face.

“It was totally wrong,” said Wuorio, who left the courtroom before hearing Kachmar’s denial of the attack on his dog.

Kachmar and 19-year-old Waylon Verley, who knew a teen-age occupant of the home, stole coins, guns and knives worth more than $40,000 during the burglary, according to the state.

“He denies the dog was injured while he was in the house,” said his attorney, Matthew Sorokin.

“Honestly, it wasn’t,” added Kachmar.

The judge allowed Kachmar to plead guilty to first-degree larceny and third-degree burglary under the Alford Doctrine, which indicates he doesn’t agree with the state’s allegations but does not want to risk conviction at trial, where he would possibly face a harsher sentence.

Kachmar also pleaded guilty to breaking into a shed at a home on Saunders Hollow Road in Old Lyme in November 2011 and then setting it on fire to conceal evidence of the burglary. He pleaded guilty to breaking into a home on Krug Road in Preston on Nov. 15, 2011 and stealing more than $16,500 worth of electronics and jewelry.

Additionally, he pleaded guilty to concocting Molotov cocktails with Verley and placing them under a pickup truck on George Avenue in Croton on Oct. 7, 2011 after the truck’s owner allegedly ripped them off in a marijuana deal.

Verley remains incarcerated while his case is pending. A third teen, Austin Zajac, was allegedly involved in some of the crimes and was given a suspended sentence, according to court records.

Verley told police they were looking for guns because they planned to start robbing banks and armored cars. He said they wanted to make enough money to move out of state and buy a house.

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