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Inmate charged in murder-for-hire attempt

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Police charged a prison inmate Friday with trying to have a witness killed before the witness could testify about charges that the inmate arranged for an underage girl to be a prostitute.

Matthew Lallis, 30, originally of Groton, was charged Friday with criminal attempt to commit murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

Lallis is an inmate at the Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Center in Montville. He is awaiting resolution on charges from last year of second-degree sexual assault, risk of injury or impairing the morals of a minor and promoting prostitution. He's been in jail in lieu of $150,000 since his arrest in May 2010.

Police say after an "extensive investigation" that began in September they determined that Lallis was trying to have a witness to his original charges murdered before the witness could testify against him. Police did not identify the witness.

According to a court document, Ledyard police officer Troy Johnson, assigned to investigate a missing person report for a girl who ran away from home last year, tracked her to the Super 8 Motel in Groton on April 15, 2010. The girl told Johnson that Lallis offered her a place to stay and that he and another man, Kyle Westerman, talked of how they "made money prostituting girls in Connecticut and New York."

The girl said Lallis asked her if she would prostitute herself by putting an ad on Craigslist, telling her he would lose his phone, car and hotel room and would not be able to eat if she refused. She said Lallis went to the Groton Public Library and used a computer to post an ad on Craigslist, an online message board.

She said customers would send her text messages, and the men would arrange the meetings and wait at a nearby Taco Bell or in the stairwell while she had sex with the customers.

The girl also told police she had sex with Lallis, who knew she was 15 but told her to say she was 16, which is the age of consent in Connecticut.


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