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    Police-Fire Reports
    Wednesday, February 28, 2024

    Petteway competent to stand trial for New London murder

    Christopher Q. Petteway, accused of fatally stabbing his former partner in New London on Oct. 4, 2018, has been found competent to stand trial for the murder of Robert Parise.

    The competency finding signaled that Petteway's prosecution can move forward. He pleaded not guilty to murder and violation of a protective order during his appearance Monday in New London Superior Court.

    He waived his right to a probable cause hearing, a procedure sometimes likened to a mini trial, at which the state would have had to prove it had enough evidence to prosecute him.

    Petteway, 42, has been held in lieu of $2,050,000 since he allegedly stabbed Parise, 63, of 25 Brainard St., New London, at Parise's home.

    Court officials learned after his arrest that Petteway had a history of mental illness and substance abuse, and Judge Hillary B. Strackbein ordered a competency evaluation to ensure he could understand the court proceedings against him and assist in his defense.

    Petteway was interviewed at the Garner Correctional Institution on Dec. 27, 2018, by James Phillips, MD, a psychiatrist; Eileen McEvoy, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist; and Michael Genovese, a licensed clinical social worker, all from the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Service's division of forensic science.

    The team's unanimous opinion was that Petteway was able to understand the proceedings and assist in his defense.

    Another clinical team had attempted to evaluate Petteway on Nov. 8, 2018, but he had refused to meet with them.

    According to the competency report, he told the clinical team his childhood in Amityville, N.Y., was marked by a lot of "violence, police contact and drugs," and that he dropped out of high school "due to hanging out with the wrong crowds, which led to drugs, psychiatric wards and programs."

    He was married for five years and has four adult daughters, according to the report. His ex-wife, Lynn Reilly, told The Day in November that Petteway had abused her for years.

    Petteway told the clinical team he first used crack cocaine at 14 when his mother gave it to him. He said he had a history of alcoholism, but no longer drinks. He said he had used crack cocaine, marijuana and crystal meth daily, but had detoxed two days before the alleged offense.

    He reported being treated for suicidal and homicidal thoughts, and said he had been diagnosed with depression and anxiety. He said he suffers from post traumatic stress disorder from being struck by a police car in New London in 2017.

    He said he had experienced auditority hallucinations.

    Petteway had domestic violence cases in Virginia, Florida and New York dating back to 2001, according to public records.

    He was incarcerated over the summer for attacking Parise in June, and had told Parise he was going to kill him upon his release. He resolved his court case quickly by pleading guilty to disorderly conduct and threatening, and served 30 days in prison.

    Parise, a beloved local salon owner, had been a client of Safe Futures, the area agency that assists victims of domestic violence, and had been assessed as being at high risk of being killed.

    After using a key to enter Parise's home, Petteway told police he stabbed his former partner as many times as he could. He was captured a short time after the stabbing.

    k.florin@theday.com

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