Man to serve 18 years for New London stabbing death

February 28, 2019

Patrick McInerney, who had faced a murder charge for the Dec. 10, 2017, stabbing death of a man he had taken in to his New London apartment, pleaded guilty Wednesday in New London Superior Court to the reduced charge of first-degree manslaughter.

McInerney fatally stabbed Robert Pomerleau, 49, at McInerney’s 39 Tilley St. apartment in New London. On May 15, McInerney, 45, will be sentenced to 18 years in prison, followed by five years of probation under a plea agreement worked out between prosecutor Stephen M. Carney and defense attorney Kevin C. Barrs.

A friend of the victim was in court Friday, and Carney said he has spoken extensively to Pomerleau’s family members, who understand the plea deal.

Barrs said McInerney has long wanted to apologize to the victim’s family and has written a letter of apology that will be attached to his court file.

According to the court record, McInerney, a self-employed painter, let Pomerleau, a native of the Bristol area, stay at his apartment at 39 Tilley St. after Pomerleau was released from prison. Pomerleau had been sentenced to nine months in prison for violation of a protective order and disorderly conduct.

Police received multiple 911 calls at 8:35 p.m. Dec. 10, 2017, and arrived to find Pomerleau lying on the stairs between the second and third floors of McInerney’s apartment building. Pomerleau, bleeding from a puncture wound to the chest, was taken to Lawrence + Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 9:07 p.m.

A female witness said McInerney was arguing with Pomerleau about “not staying for free” at the apartment, when the altercation escalated into pushing and shoving. The woman said as Pomerleau was leaving the apartment, McInerney followed him into the hallway, then returned and grabbed a knife from a kitchen drawer. She said McInerney stabbed Pomerleau once in the left side of the chest, and Pomerleau fell to the ground.

Judge Hillary B. Strackbein told McInerney the state likely would have pursued a murder charge if he took the case to trial and he would have faced 60 years in prison if convicted.

McInerney answered several questions the judge posed to ensure he understands the plea deal.

He lifted his cuffed hands to shake attorney Barrs’ hand before returning back to the courthouse lockup. He is being held in lieu of $1,075,000 at the Garner Correctional Institution in Newtown, according to the Department of Correction.