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Life in prison for man convicted in brutal triple murder in Griswold

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Saying he saw no justification for leniency, New London Superior Court Judge Hunchu Kwak on Tuesday sentenced Sergio Correa to life in prison without the possibility of release — plus 105 years — for his role in the 2017 killings of a Griswold couple and their son.

Correa, 30, who maintained his innocence and hinted at a possible appeal during brief remarks in court on Tuesday, was convicted by a jury in December of multiple charges, including murder with special circumstances, in connection with the killing of Kenneth, 56, and Janet Lindquist, 61, and their 21-year-old son Matthew.

Ruth Correa, Sergio Correa’s 27-year-old adoptive sister, was an accomplice in the crimes and received a 40-year prison sentence later in the day. Her sentence was part of a plea agreement she secured in exchange for testimony against her brother that Judge Hillary Strackbein, who sentenced Ruth Correa, said helped secure a conviction. In May 2021, Ruth Correa pleaded guilty to three counts of felony murder.

It was an emotionally charged day in court, where more than two dozen friends and family members of the Lindquists were on hand to reminisce about a family-oriented couple on the cusp of retirement whose lives were cut short, along with a young man struggling with an opioid addiction and taken advantage of.

“Words cannot express the pain I have endured since the murders,” said Deborah DiCarlo, Kenneth Lindquist’s sister.

“Janet and Ken would be celebrating their 33rd wedding anniversary and Matthew would be celebrating his 25th birthday,” she said. “There will be no more gatherings, laughter and celebrations with them, which frequently occurred through the years.”

Some of the family members who spoke in court at sentencing used the words “evil,” “soulless” or “heartless” to describe Sergio Correa, who sat in rapt attention while the victim impact statements were read.

“The reality is, only a truly evil, vicious and heartless person could harm such innocent people in their own home,” Bob Thibeault, a neighbor of the Lindquists, said.

On Dec. 20, 2017, the Lindquists had gone to bed for the night when their son Matthew, who was in the grip of addiction — met with Ruth and Sergio Correa for a supposed deal to exchange his father’s guns for heroin.

But the Correas apparently did not bring any drugs to the quiet cul-de-sac where the meeting took place. Instead of an exchange, the Hartford siblings chased Matthew Lindquist into the woods, where he was found months after his parents were found dead, with more than 60 stab, slash and chop wounds.

Ruth and Sergio Correa, after leaving Matthew Lindquist for dead in the woods, entered the Lindquist home with a bat and golf club. Kenneth and Janet were beaten and left for dead as the home was set on fire, according to courtroom testimony. The family's golden retriever, Skylar, also died in that fire.

Eric Lindquist, Kenneth and Janet Lindquists' surviving son, called into question a system that allowed Sergio Correa back on the streets. In court on Tuesday, he set up a projector and read from Sergio Correa’s letters to the Board of Pardons and Paroles in 2016. In the letters, Correa says he is taking responsibility for his actions, has been transformed in prison and writes, “I humbly ask for parole so I can start my life.”

Sergio Correa at the time was serving a 10-year prison sentence for conviction in armed robberies and shootings in Waterbury that he had committed as a 16-year-old. He was granted parole after serving 85% of his sentence. He killed the Lindquists within months of his release.

“Your honor, there is no sentence you can issue in accordance with existing law that is harsh enough to allow me or many of the friends and family in court with me to receive justice for the heinous acts of this man,” Eric Lindquist said. “In the future, I look forward to advocating for changing what I view as failed or ineffective criminal justice and social welfare policies, so that fewer families must experience acts of evil and those that do can get the justice they deserve.”

The Correas' cases were prosecuted by Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney Stephen Carney, Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Thomas DeLillo and Assistant State’s Attorney Marissa Goldberg.

Some in the Lindquist family were unhappy with Ruth Correa’s plea agreement.

Testimony at trial showed Ruth Correa had been the one who stabbed Matthew Lindquist, watched the two parents fight for their lives and stripped the house of any valuables before setting the home ablaze.

Eric Lindquist said Ruth Correa was caught in numerous lies throughout the trial and violated terms of her agreement with the state. “As a victim, I wonder who will be responsible to ensure that Ruth Correa is not a threat to me, my family and friends, or the rest of society when she is released as a 64-year-old woman?” he said.

Defense attorney Kevin Barrs, who represented Ruth Correa, said the presentence investigation revealed Ruth Correa, who is a mother, had been sexually molested by a relative starting at age 6, suffered from borderline personality disorder and has had substance abuse issues since a young age.

Standing before Judge Strackbein, Ruth Correa, through sobs, expressed remorse and said, “there is nothing I can say that will take away the hurt and pain. As sorry as I am, words don’t matter ...”

g.smith@theday.com

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