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Witnesses say man stabbed, killed his brother

By Sasha Goldstein

Publication: theday.com

Published September 04. 2012 3:00PM   Updated September 05. 2012 1:50PM
Dana Jensen/The Day
Sita Ram, second from left, owner of Bestway gas station/convenience store, and his friend Vipin Patel, left, talk with people that gathered on Brown Avenue in Jewett City across the street from the Bestway where a stabbing victim collapsed Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012. The victim was stabbed behind a residential building on North Main Street and then made his way to the Bestway gas station/convenience Store on the corner of North Main Street and Brown Avenue.

Griswold — Witnesses who tried to save the life of a man who was bleeding and begging for help said the man had been stabbed Tuesday morning by his brother on North Main Street in Jewett City.

State police found the victim, later identified as John Coddington, 27, of Norwich, after responding to a 911 call at about 11:30 a.m. Police said Coddington was taken to the William W. Backus Hospital in Norwich, where he later died. The Office of the Chief State's Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy, police said.

In a press release late Tuesday from the Eastern District Major Crime Squad, police said they searched for the suspect, Jeffrey Savoy, 22, of 231 N. Main St., Jewett City, and found him at 46 Mechanic St. in Jewett City. Police have charged Savoy with manslaughter and are holding on him on a $1 million bond. He is scheduled to appear in court today.

By mid-afternoon Tuesday, several troopers and the Major Crime Squad were interviewing witnesses and photographing the crime scene, which stretched from 231 N. Main St. to the Best Way convenience store at the corner of North Main and Brown Avenue. Blood stains were visible on the side of 223 N. Main, a multi-family residence. Witnesses said the victim had run about 100 yards from where he was stabbed in the neck at 231 N. Main to the Best Way.

Shawn Sheltra said he was at 223 N. Main St. picking up his daughter from the school bus when he saw the victim run by him toward the Best Way. Sheltra said the victim got to the front of the convenience store and yelled "Help me out!" before collapsing. The man was bleeding profusely from a large neck wound, said Sheltra, who used his T-shirt to help staunch the bleeding. So, too, did Sita Ram, Best Way's owner, who said he knew Coddington from previous visits to the store. Ram said that after the ambulance left, he had to go get a new shirt from the store because his was blood-soaked.

Sheltra said the victim has two children, one 2 years old and one 4 months old.

"He was just a normal guy, trying to take care of his kids," Sheltra said.

Gauze wrappers and blue rubber gloves lay discarded near the Best Way entrance. Matt Benoit was out watching the scene around 4 p.m., rocking a stroller holding his twin 2-month-old babies.

The victim had been arguing with his brother in a gravel lot behind the residence when he was stabbed, said Benoit, who lives across from 231 N. Main. He said the suspect took off in a black SUV after the 11:30 a.m. stabbing and Benoit called 911 and ran over to help the victim.

"This is a nice neighborhood, for the most part. Things like this don't happen around here," Benoit said.

Police said the investigation is continuing.

s.goldstein@theday.com

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