Ex-death row inmate sentenced to life for murder

HARTFORD — A former death row inmate was resentenced on Wednesday to life in prison for the 2002 slaying of a single mother.

Lazale Ashby, 33, had his sentence converted as a result of the state Supreme Court decision to end capital punishment.

Ashby, who was convicted in 2008, raped and strangled Elizabeth Garcia inside her Hartford apartment as her 2-year-old daughter watched television in another room.

The victim's daughter, who is now 17, spoke at the hearing and described the pain of never knowing her mother, the Hartford Courant reported .

"He should be deprived of his freedom and he must be reminded of the horrible things he's done," the teen said.

The teen's grandmother, Betsy Betterini, told the Hartford Superior Court judge that her daughter Elizabeth would have been proud to see the teen as the courageous, college-bound young woman she has become.

Ashby, who did not speak during the sentencing hearing, also is serving a 25-year sentence for a fatal shooting that took place in 2003. An appeal of his conviction in the Garcia case is pending.

The state Supreme Court ruled the death penalty unconstitutional in 2015. Nine of the state's 11 former death row inmates have since been resentenced to life in prison.



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