Norwich man pleads guilty to targeting New London woman in church, home shootings

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A Norwich man will be sentenced to up to four years in prison in March for shooting at a New London home and church in 2018 as he targeted a former co-worker he listed in his phone contacts as "Wifey" but who was married to someone else.

Najee J. Green, 28, of 65 Maple St., Norwich, pleaded guilty in Superior Court to carrying a pistol without a permit, second-degree stalking, two counts of first-degree reckless endangerment and two counts of unlawful discharge of a firearm. He will be sentenced March 25 to up to four years in prison, followed by five years' probation. Under the plea deal he accepted, his attorney, M. Fred DeCaprio, will have the opportunity to argue for a shorter prison term.

Green pleaded guilty under the Alford Doctrine, which indicates he didn't agree with the state's allegations but did not want to risk a harsher sentence if convicted at trial.

According to court documents, Green fired shots into Church ONEighty at 138 Garfield St. at 11:30 a.m. on July 30, 2018, striking the front door of the unoccupied building four times.

Police found two 9mm shell casings and three full or partial projectiles. Surveillance video footage showed a white Subaru Forester near the church just before the shooting. Police said an eyewitness who heard the gunshots saw a white SUV speeding away from the scene.

Police said he also fired into a single-family home at 175 Ashcraft Road at 10:47 p.m. on Sept. 24, 2018. Four bullets struck the front door or window area, and two rounds continued through the living room and into a fireplace wall. A third struck a wall in a small laundry room just beyond the front door.

Three residents were in the living room during the shooting, but no one was hit. Witnesses reported seeing a man in a red sweatshirt and khaki pants running from the scene.

One of the home's residents arrived after the shooting and told police she had been having problems with Green, who she said had smashed her windshield weeks earlier. She said she never dated Green, but he became "very interested in her" while they worked together in 2010.

The woman said Green had recently began sending text messages offering cash as a wedding gift and had shown up at her workplace multiple times. She told police Green also had asked when she was going to church on July 29, the day before the shooting at Church ONEighty. The woman told police her church, Oasis of Restoration, used to be at 138 Garfield Ave.

She said she asked Green to stop contacting her in August.

Phone records showed Green had listed the woman as "Wifey" in his contacts and had exchanged 73 text messages with her. Police said the records corroborated the woman's story.

Green has been free on a $150,000 bond while his case was pending. He had no previous convictions in Connecticut or any other state, according to a court document.

k.florin@theday.com

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