June 7, 2007
By TINA A. BROWN, Courant Staff Writer
A Superior Court judge in Hartford ruled Wednesday that the lawyers representing the family of a teenager killed by a Hartford police officer can no longer attend the officer's pretrial negotiations.
Jashon Bryant, 18, was shot by veteran police officer Robert Lawlor on the evening of May 7, 2005. Lawlor, a city police officer for 17 years, has been charged with manslaughter in connection with Bryant's death.
Judge Thomas Miano said that attorneys Joseph Moniz and Jefferson Jelly should be kept informed by New Haven prosecutor Michael Dearington, but that they are no longer allowed inside the hearings. Moniz and Jelly are representing the family in a civil suit.
Michael Georgetti, Lawlor's attorney, said Lawlor had the right to ask for private proceedings.
Lawlor was working as part of an anti-gun task force and was partnered with Dan Prather, a federal agent from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, at the time of the shooting.
Bryant and a friend of his, Brandon Henry, were sitting in a parked car when Lawlor and Prather approached them after Lawlor claimed he thought he saw Bryant reaching for a gun. Lawlor opened fire as the car drove off. Henry was shot in the chest.
Prather later told investigators he never saw Bryant holding a gun and never considered himself in danger. But the defense claims that Prather told his supervisor that he was in danger.
The criminal case was continued until next Wednesday in Superior Court in Hartford.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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