Burglary cases to be tried in major crimes court

The criminal cases of two brothers accused in a string of burglaries in Lyme, Old Lyme and other towns have been transferred to the New London court where major crimes are heard.

Justin P. Weissinger, 25, and Karl W. Weissinger, 22, made their first appearances before Judge Susan B. Handy this week and entered not-guilty pleas. The older brother has a total of 12 cases pending, including nine burglaries, and is being held at the Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Center in lieu of a $400,100 bond. He had initially been represented by attorney Matthew G. Berger, but Berger withdrew from the case at Weissinger's request. Handy appointed Glastonbury attorney John E. Franckling, a special public defender, to represent him. His next court date is March 6.

Karl Weissinger, who is free after posting $10,000 in cash, is charged with six burglaries. The judge appointed attorney Jeremiah Donovan as his special public defender and continued the case to March 28.

According to arrest warrant affidavits, the brothers broke into homes while the owners were away and stole quality jewelry and antiques. A Mystic jeweler has admitted he bought approximately $100,000 worth of items from the two brothers, who he said told him they had been bidding on abandoned storage units.

Two of the burglary victims who have been attending the brothers' court appearances met this week with Senior Assistant State's Attorney Stephen M. Carney, who will be prosecuting the cases, and Victim Advocate Beth Ann Hess.

State police recovered many of the stolen items but are holding them as evidence in the case.

- Karen Florin

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