Victim dies from injuries sustained in New London stabbing

New London — A 36-year-old man died early Thursday morning when he was stabbed numerous times late the previous night in an apartment at 187 Huntington St.

Police said they responded to the area around 10:34 p.m. and found the victim suffering from serious injuries to his abdomen. A source said the Hispanic man was stabbed at least six times.

The identity of the victim has not been released, pending notification of out-of-town family members, police said.

The victim was initially taken to Lawrence & Memorial Hospital and then flown to Yale-New Haven Hospital, where he died of his injuries at 2 a.m.

The address where the homicide occurred, Apt. D14 at 187 Huntington St., is the same given to police last year by Antonio "Wilson" Pena, 36. Pena has been held in police custody since last year in lieu of $2 million bond as he awaits trail on a charge that he orchestrated a murder-for-hire plot against an acquaintance with whom he once dealt drugs.

Police say they foiled the plot the morning of Aug. 18, 2011, just minutes before it was carried out. Pena and the two men who police say he hired to commit the murder were arrested and charged in relation to that incident. Pena is scheduled to appear Monday in court on the conspiracy to commit murder charge.

Police have not confirmed the two incidents are in any way connected.

Police also responded to a report of shots fired Wednesday night, about 2½ hours after the stabbing. Deputy Chief Peter Reichard said police "have no information that links either of these incidents together."

No suspects have been identified and police said no motive for the murder has been established.

"At this point, on the surface, it does not appear that the homicide was a random act of violence; however, it is still actively being investigated," Reichard said.

By 8:30 a.m. Thursday police had cleared the crime scene at the apartment complex. Family and friends of the victim were sitting outside apartment D14. They declined to speak and asked that their "privacy be respected" at this time.

One witness said Wednesday night that three men knocked on the door of D14 and stabbed the victim when he opened the door. A witness said the men fled on foot, running through the complex parking lot, which exits across the street from the Multicultural Magnet School.

Anyone with information regarding this crime is asked to call detectives at (860) 447-1481. All calls will be kept confidential.

i.larraneta@theday.com

s.goldstein@theday.com

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