Defendant waives hearing in freezer-death case

A man accused of killing Madeline Brisson in March and stuffing her body in a freezer at her Groton home has waived his right to a probable cause hearing.

The case of Luis F. Otero, 49, was on the docket Wednesday in New London Superior Court. His attorney, Bruce A. Sturman, waived the hearing and entered a plea of not guilty on Otero's behalf. Defendants in murder cases are entitled within 60 days of their arrest to a hearing at which the state must convince a judge there is enough evidence for the case to move forward.

According to police, Otero turned himself in on March 7 and said he had put a body in the freezer at 1184 Gold Star Highway. The body was frozen solid when it was recovered by police, and the state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner's initial autopsy exam was not conclusive as to the cause and manner of Brisson's death. A staff member at the medical examiner's office said this week that there still is no cause and manner of death listed in the case.

Otero and Brisson had dated, and he had been living with her to help cover the rent. Friends of Brisson said he had threatened to kill her and put her body in a freezer.

He is being held on a $2 million bond at the MacDougall-Walker Correction Institution and is due back on court on July 20.

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