AP NEWS

Accused killer’s jailhouse interview, Lamont’s call for tolls, cop’s racist videos top weekend news

February 18, 2019

The man accused of killing Valerie Reyes and stuffing her body in a suitcase before dumping it in Greenwich called himself “a bad person” in an interview this weekend from his cell at the Westchester County Jail. Javier Da Silva told the New York Post he didn’t call police because he feared being blamed for killing his 24-year-old ex-girlfriend.

In other news, Gov. Ned Lamont drew sharp criticism after announcing his budget this week will include a highway toll proposal. It caused outrage from toll opponents, while others questioned Lamont’s integrity. An administration official said Lamont’s proposal could generate $800 million each year, indicating the governor plans significant tolls on most of the state’s highways.

Here are some stories you may have missed this weekend:

Reaction swift and fiery as Lamont swings toward broad tolls

Opponents of tolls were angered this weekend when Gov. Ned Lamont revealed in a Hearst Connecticut Media Opinion page piece that his budget this week will include a toll proposal. Lamont said his budget on Wednesday will propose two options on tolls: interstate trucks only, which he had long favored, and tolling of all vehicles on highways and bridges. Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano called Lamont’s toll announcement “a significant broken promise.”

Accused killer of Valerie Reyes says he panicked, feared being blamed

In a jailhouse interview with the New York Post, Javier Da Silva said he panicked and stuffed Valerie Reyes in a suitcase after he claims she fell and hit her head. Da Silva, a former boyfriend of Reyes who loved to travel and nature photography, told the Post he did not call police because he feared being blamed for her death. If law enforcement’s theory about how Reyes died proves to be true, the 24-year-old is among millions of women who have been seriously physically assaulted by a current or former intimate partner each year in the U.S.

Alex Jones defamation cases reach deep into free speech debate

Alex Jones, who claimed the Sandy Hook school shooting was a hoax on his InfoWars program, is at the center of lawsuits filed by 10 of the victims’ families. The cases have the potential to shape the debate between free speech advocates who say outlying opinion is protected under the First Amendment, and civil justice advocates who say there is a price to pay for recklessly abusing the truth.

CT police lieutenant posts racist Facebook videos

A Naugatuck police lieutenant posted racially motivated videos on Facebook that Hearst Connecticut Media obtained on Friday. The videos, which target immigrants, “do not appear to be in line with the core values of the police department,” according to Naugatuck Deputy Police Chief Joshua Bernegger.

CT vigilantes who target alleged child predators draw cheers, concern

The POP (Prey on Predators) Squad, a Connecticut group that has conducted dozens of pedophile sting operations, has drawn widespread criticism whether its work is ethical. While some support the group for protecting children from predators, others say there are perils of stepping around the legal system.

Mold, roaches cited in New Haven restaurant inspections

A total of 16 New Haven restaurants failed their health inspections in the past six months with violations that included roaches in a food prep room, lack of cleanliness and improper food temperatures. Six restaurants failed more than once and one has been closed until further notice.

Stamford or Norwalk? Cities market themselves to businesses, millennials

Stamford and Norwalk lead a so-called Fairfield County Five group of municipalities trying to lure businesses and millennials to Connecticut. Stamford Economic Development Director Thomas Madden said the new approach has been successful. “The problem in the past is that every municipality was siloed out,” he said.