Records reveal Correa talked the talk during parole proceedings

Sergio Correa told members of the state Board of Pardons and Paroles in November 2016 he had a "game plan."

Incarcerated since he committed armed robberies and shootings in Waterbury as a 16-year-old, Correa said he was a different person when, at age 25, he went before a three-member panel after serving the 85 percent of his sentence required for violent offenses under the "Truth in Sentencing Act" passed by Connecticut lawmakers in 1995. 

He submitted a neatly typewritten "Game Plan" indicating he wanted to finish school and get a job within a year, open a boutique clothing store and buy a house within five years and do charitable work, such as helping battered women and underprivileged kids. Following a 12-minute hearing, the parole board members voted unanimously to grant parole for Correa, who was deemed at moderate risk to reoffend using a tool adapted from Ohio known as the Statewide Collaborative Offender Risk Evaluation System (SCORES).

But instead of adhering to his professed plan of taking business courses, saving money and doing good deeds to pay back his debt to society, state police say that within months of his re-entry to society, Correa, now 26, and his younger sister, Ruth Correa, murdered three members of the Lindquist family in Griswold and set their house on fire during an hours-long crime spree on Dec. 20, 2017.

His alleged acts are in wild contrast to his statement during a parole board assessment that, "I will do whatever I have to do not to come back to jail."

Correa is back in prison and faces the possibility of never walking free again, as does his sister Ruth, who had no previous record.

The parole records released indicate that at his hearing, officer Pamela Richards remarked he had completed more rehabilitative programs than most prisoners. He obtained his GED at age 17, and took courses in anger management, alternatives to violence, computer repair, victim sensitivity, re-entry and journaling. He was working five days a week as a tutor in the prison school near the end of his sentence.

Correa's prison record was not without blemishes. He received six tickets, or disciplinary reports between 2008 and 2014, according to the Department of Correction: three for fighting, two for disobeying a direct order, and one for being in an unauthorized place. He also was discharged from a re-integration program. Questioned about the incident during his hearing, he said he had acted inappropriately when he wasn't admitted into a program as quickly as he would have liked.

Correa had received 364 days off his parole term under the Risk Reduction Earned Credit program enacted under Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's Second Chance initiatives. prompting state Sen. Heather Somers, R-Groton, state Rep. Kevin Skulczyck, R-Griswold, and local officials to call for a review last week of the Malloy program and its effectiveness in reviewing individuals who might pose a danger to the public.

Correa was released from prison to a halfway house in March 2017. In September 2017, because of the RREC credits he had earned in prison, he was released from parole supervision and placed on probation. He was living with his grandfather on Donald Street in Hartford as of December, and had failed to adhere to several of the conditions of his probation, committing "technical" violations, such as missing appointments and minor motor vehicle crimes that did not merit his immediate rearrest.

 The son of career correction officer Pablo Correa of Hartford, and Heather Morris of Waterbury, court records and testimony indicate that Correa went wayward at an early age. His juvenile record is sealed, but during his parole hearing he mentioned having been at the Connecticut Juvenile Training Center, a now-shuttered locked facility for boys and at the Long Lane School in Middletown, another secured facility for juveniles that closed in 2002.

By 16, he was holding up a Chinese restaurant with a gun and shooting a man in the thigh during another attempted robbery, according to his court records.

While many are looking for a red flag that could have predicted Correa would commit the atrocious crimes with which he's charged, John Lahda, retired executive director of the Board of Pardons and Paroles and career correctional employee, said it is hard to predict human behavior.

"It's hard in cases where you have a guy who does all the programs," Lahda said by phone Tuesday. "I said so many times after Cheshire (home invasion/murders of 2007), none of us can predict human behavior. An individual is going to do anything they can to get out of prison. You have a kid who was in trouble potentially his whole life. He hasn't been in trouble because he had the structure while he was incarcerated. He was told what to do and when to do it. Then you release him, and he's wide open."

k.florin@theday.com

 

 

 

Audio from Sergio Correa’s parole hearing in November 2016.


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