Accused serial burglar unhappy as charges mount

Charges continue to mount against accused serial burglar Bernard McAllister, who told a New London judge this morning that he is not happy with his attorney.

The 40-year-old Lisbon man and Mark Missino of Waterford are accused of carrying out a three-year string of residential burglaries from New York to Rhode Island, stealing more than $1 million worth of items. East Lyme and state police spent about six months cataloging stolen items they found in a storage unit and have shared the information with other police departments. The men have been charged with burglaries across the state, the latest being in Norwalk and Waterbury.

McAllister, who has been held at the New Haven Correctional Center since December, said during his appearance today in New London Superior Court that he is having problems with his attorney, Norman A. Pattis, concerning “communications, diligence, promptness and misconduct.”

“I’ve retained his services at $20,000, and thus far I’ve basically been ignored,” he said.

An associate of Pattis said she was standing in for Pattis while he was preparing for a trial that begins Tuesday in Danbury.

Judge Patrick J. Clifford told McAllister the case is in the early stages.

“Warrants are being served in dribs and drabs,” he said. “Until we get the warrants served, there’s not really much that can be done.”

Clifford did say that McAllister could hire a different attorney, and when McAllister said he could not afford another retainer, the judge suggested he may be eligible for a special public defender. McAllister’s codefendant, Missino, is represented by a special public defender, which is a private attorney who contracts with the state to represent clients who cannot afford a lawyer.

Reached by phone later, Pattis said he understands why McAllister is frustrated, since Pattis said he has not yet spoken to a prosecutor who has taken responsibility for the cases. An attorney from the Chief State’s Attorney’s office was in court today on the state’s behalf.

As for McAllister’s complaints that Pattis is ignoring him and refusing to file motions on his behalf, “That’s nonsense and he knows it,” Pattis said. “The case is early and motions are typically filed after lengthy pretrial discussions.”


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