New London murder defendant seeking new lawyer

Court documents detailing the state’s case against accused killer Keith R. Delvalle will remain sealed while Delvalle, who was retrieved from New York City in May to face murder charges, seeks to hire a new lawyer.

His next court date is Aug. 20.

New London police retrieved the 29-year-old Delvalle and charged him with fatally shooting Jesus “Gee” Pinero near Connecticut Avenue and Prest Street on Aug. 29, 2013. He has not yet entered a plea in New London Superior Court or notified Judge Hillary B. Strackbein whether he wants a probable cause hearing. As a defendant in a murder case, he is entitled to a probable cause hearing within 60 days of his arrest. He is being held in lieu of $175,000 cash at the Hartford Correctional Center on charges of murder, criminal possession of a firearm, carrying a pistol without a permit, unlawful discharge of a firearm, criminal use of a firearm and commission of a Class A felony with a firearm.

The court appointed attorney John E. Franckling to represent Delvalle, but Delvalle notified the judge during a court appearance Tuesday that he is seeking to hire a private attorney. He is waiving the 60-day deadline until he decides whether he wants a probable cause hearing. The arrest warrant affidavit that New London police used to secure his arrest is likely to remain sealed at the request of State’s Attorney Michael L. Regan, until Delvalle decides whether to go forward with the hearing.

Pinero, who was 29, died of multiple gunshot wounds to the torso and extremities, and police recovered two guns at the scene, according to court testimony. DNA recovered from one of the guns was traced to 33-year-old Lance J. Brown of Uncasville, who police said was shooting back at Delvalle. Brown was charged with criminal possession of a firearm, carrying a pistol without a permit, first-degree reckless endangerment and illegal discharge of a firearm. He is free on $200,000 bond and has been appearing in court regularly.

Police also found a .25-caliber pistol at the scene.

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