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Suspect arraigned in Griswold triple murder

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Sergio Correa, accused of brutally murdering three members of the Lindquist family in Griswold on Dec. 20, 2017, charged during his arraignment Monday in New London Superior Court Monday that his sister, who detailed the crimes in a confession to state police, is lying.

Correa, 26, is charged with murder with special circumstances, three counts of felony murder, first-degree robbery, first-degree arson and second-degree arson and home invasion.

He stood before Judge Hillary B. Strackbein in tan prison pants and a white t-shirt, whispering to his attorney, William Gerace, throughout the brief proceeding.  The judge set his bond at $3 million.

"By the way, she's lying," he said as he was led out of the courtroom.

The arrest warrant application in the case is sealed through June 19. Gerace had not seen the warrant as of Monday morning but said the state's case "is rumored to be all hearsay at this point" and that he is still waiting for DNA or other forensic evidence.

Gerace said he's spoken with Correa extensively about the case.

"He wants a fair trial," Gerace said. "It's a gruesome case, as everyone knows."

The state alleges that Correa and his sister, Ruth Correa, drove from Hartford to Griswold to burglarize the home of Janet and Kenneth Lindquist. The Lindquist's 21-year-old son, Matthew, had agreed to help them enter the home and steal rifles from a safe in the basement.

In a statement to state police, Ruth Correa, 23, who was charged last month in the case, said that Matthew Lindquist, who wanted drugs in exchange for the assistance, became panicky and fidgety when they met him down the road from his parents' home in the Kenwood Estates. Ruth Correa said her brother attacked Lindquist with a machete and tied him up and that both siblings fatally stabbed him.

Gerace said the sister's claim that Sergio Correa "guided her hand" as she stabbed Matthew Lindquist strains credulity.

Matthew Lindquist, whose remains were found May 5 by a dog walker just 50 feet into the woods and approximately 1,500 feet from the family home, died of stab wounds to the head, torso and extremities, according to the state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Ruth Correa said she and Sergio Correa went to the Lindquist home, killed the awakened parents and set the house on fire before fleeing with stolen guns, a laptop and Matthew Lindquist's car and cell phone. They allegedly took the silver Saturn to a Glastonbury apartment complex and lit it on fire.

The state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said Janet Lindquist died from blunt impact injuries of the head and smoke inhalation. Kenneth Lindquist died from a combination of skull fractures, hemorrhaging and cerebral bruising, according to the medical examiner.

State police initially considered Matthew Lindquist a person of interest in the case. They seized text messages exchanged between Lindquist and Sergio Correa in the hours before the crimes that appear to corroborate Ruth Correa's claim that they were setting up the parents for a burglary.

The state police said they obtained surveillance photos from the Bank of America branch near the Glastonbury apartment complex that showed a silver Saturn, later confirmed to be Matthew Lindquist's, turn off New London Turnpike to Clinton Street at 5:43 a.m., followed seconds later by a white Mitsubishi Galant, similar to Correa's. At 5:47 a.m., the first flames can be seen in the distance in the still photographs, according to the affidavit.

Sergio Correa, convicted of armed robberies and other crimes in Waterbury at age 16, had been released from prison in September 2017 after serving a 10-year sentence. In February, he was arrested for drug possession and violating probation.

State's Attorney Michael L. Regan will be prosecuting the case along with Senior Assistant State's Attorney Stephen M. Carney. Regan declined to comment.

Janet and Kenneth Lindquist's surviving children did not appear to be in court Monday and have not granted interviews to reporters. Correa's family members did not appear to be in the courtroom. 

k.florin@theday.com

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