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Man Charged In Strangling Faces Body Armor Violation

Day Staff Writer

Publication: The Day

Published June 15. 2008 4:00AM   Updated December 11. 2009 10:46PM

Groton - A North Road man charged with manslaughter in April in the death of Jose A. Cartagena turned himself in Saturday to town police on charges of owning a bulletproof vest, police said.

Dirren Conyers, 31, of 33 North Road was charged on a warrant with criminal possession of body armor.

He was released on $2,500 bond and a court date was set for June 25 in New London Superior Court.

Conyers was linked to the beating and strangulation death of Cartagena April 13 on Industrial Drive in the Poquonnock Bridge section of town.

Conyers has been charged with first-degree manslaughter and unlawful restraint. His case is pending.

No other information about the new arrest was available Saturday.

On Wednesday, police arrested a second man in connection with Cartagena's death.

James D. Smith, 19, of 216 Mitchell St. was charged with first-degree unlawful restraint, third-degree assault and second-degree breach of peace.

His case is also pending in New London Superior Court.

Cartagena was found beaten in the back seat of a car following a fight on Industrial Drive, police said.

He was taken to Lawrence & Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

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