Chew defendant could be tried in January

In this file photo, Rahshad Perry is arraigned in Connecticut Superior Court in New London Wednesday Dec. 1, 2010 on charges stemming from the murder of Matthew Chew.

A New London judge told 19-year-old Rahshad Perry and his attorney Tuesday that they should prepare for trial in January for Perry's alleged role in the Matthew Chew murder.

Perry is one of six New London teens charged with jumping and fatally stabbing Chew, 25, on Oct. 29, 2010, as he walked home from his restaurant job on Huntington Street in New London. All of the defendants have remained incarcerated since they were arrested Dec. 1, 2010.

Idris Elahi, the person the state identified as the lead aggressor, pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced in May to 35 years in prison. Prosecutor Stephen M. Carney then extended plea offers to the remaining teens, who are charged with accessory and conspiracy to commit murder.

Carney offered Rahshad Perry and Matias Perry (no relation) the opportunity to plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a 15-year prison sentence followed by five years probation. Carney said he crafted the plea offers based on whether the defendants cooperated with the prosecution. Neither man testified at a probable cause hearing in the Elahi case.

Rahshad Perry rejected the offer in June, though his attorney, William Gerace, continued to discuss the case with Carney and the judge during Perry's regular court appearances. If convicted at trial, Perry could be sentenced to up to 60 years in prison.

"It does not appear these matters are going to be able to be resolved without going to trial," Judge Susan B. Handy said Tuesday during Perry's appearance. Handy said she anticipates the trial would begin after the first of the year. She told Gerace to clear his calendar and said the case may be tried at the same time as Matias Perry's case if the state files and wins a motion for joinder.

Matias Perry has not accepted or rejected the plea offer yet, according to his attorney, Peter E. Scillieri.

The remaining defendants, Tyree Bundy, 19, Brian Rabell, 20 and Marquis Singleton, 19, received offers for shorter prison terms based on their cooperation in the case, according to Carney. They would likely be called on to testify at the Perry trial, and their cases have been put on hold until then.

According to testimony, the six teens were watching TV at Elahi's house when they decided to go downtown and jump somebody. Rahshad Perry dared Elahi to stab someone, and they targeted Chew, who was walking home from his job at a Huntington Street restaurant.


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