Police make arrests in 2004 drug death
Written by Kristan Zimmer
Posted 2:39 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2008
More than four years after his January 2004 death, police have arrested two people in connection with the drug overdose of 19-year-old Greenwich resident John Bria III.
Jason Cunningham, 24, of 49 Chapel St. and Savanna Lamotte, 23, were arrested Sept. 9 and charged with felony counts of possession of a narcotic. The two were released from custody after posting $1,000 cash bonds and are due in court on Sept. 17.
In 2004, police responded to a report of an unresponsive male at the Brias’ Hollow Wood Lane home on Jan. 16 and Mr. Bria was pronounced dead at the scene. The investigation found that there had been a party in Mr. Bria’s bedroom the night before, and cocaine and heroin were consumed.
The Greenwich Post Is Already Screwing Up The Story By Getting The Facts Wrong !!!!!!
The Greenwich Post Reports...
At the time, no charges were brought against anyone who attended the party, but on Dec. 4, 2007, police reopened the investigation based on new information. Police allege that Mr. Cunningham and Ms. Lamotte had bought drugs and brought them to the party......
- Please Read This Greenwich Time /Stamford Advocate Article:
- Police reopen fatal overdose case
- By Martin B. Cassidy
- February 13, 2008
- Three years after closing the case, police are reinvestigating the 2004 fatal overdose of a Greenwich teenager following a civil suit they say has raised questions about whether drug or other charges are warranted.
- Police reopened their probe after information from a civil case showing prescription and illegal drugs in John Bria III's blood as well as civil court affidavits an attorney for Bria's family said show inconsistent statements.
- The evidence is from a separate suit against friends who were at a party at the young man's Pemberwick home the night he died, police Chief David Ridberg said. Bria, 19, was found dead by his father in his basement bedroom around 3 p.m. on Jan. 16, 2004.
- Three years ago, then-Chief James Walters said the case had been closed without making any arrests, with investigators finding there was no criminal fault by the youths.
- In March 2004, the Office of the Chief State Medical Examiner determined that Bria died of accidental heroin and cocaine toxicity.
- After the case was closed, Bria's parents challenged police to reopen it, arguing the fatal overdose was due to a lethal stew of prescription and other drugs provided by his teenage friends.
- "I had been thinking about (the case) for a while and the family had garnered more information during the civil case that led to us taking another look at the old case," Ridberg said. "We decided it warranted more investigation."
- "We are looking into whether there is any criminal culpability in his death," Ridberg said.
- The youths who attended Bria's party that night are included in the probe, Ridberg said....
- ...The suit alleges the four youths gave Bria illegal and/or prescription drugs at the party. It also alleges that the defendants, except for Lamotte, worked to cover up rather than notify Bria's parents, police, paramedics or anyone who could render Bria medical assistance.
- Last year Bria's family won a legal victory when a Stamford judge ruled against a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, finding that those who provide fatal doses of illegal drugs can be civilly responsible for injuries and deaths.
- Eugene Riccio, an attorney for Caron, said his client was not responsible for Bria's death and had not been contacted by police for additional information."I firmly believe as to the claims against Ms. Caron that this lawsuit is without any basis," Riccio said. "I understand that John Bria's death was a terrible tragedy but Ms. Caron does not bear any responsibility whatsoever for it."
- Katherine Nietzel, the Stamford-based attorney for Jason and Donna Cunningham, said there was no evidence that Jason Cunningham provided Bria with drugs. She said Donna Cunningham picked up her son at Bria's home the morning after the party and had no knowledge of the overdose....
- ...John Meerbergen, who represents Hanscom, said his client also would seek to have the suit against her dismissed.
- "Katie Hanscom has no culpability whatsoever," Meerbergen said. "There is absolutely no evidence she gave anyone anything."
- Lamotte's attorney, Jack Slane, of Heagney, Lennon &Slane in Greenwich, said his client was at Bria's home for 10 minutes the night of the party before leaving.
- "That was the extent of her involvement at the party," Slane said. "Furthermore I will say her testimony in the civil deposition was identical to two statements she gave to police without the benefit of counsel."
- Please Also See:
- 01/04/08 - Greenwich Police Officers Sit On The Post Road Looking For Burned Out Tailights In Hopes Of Making A Drug Arrest
- 02/03/08 - The Stamford Police Know How To Properly Investigate A Drug Death
- 02/04/08 - Savannah Lamotte, would tell police about John J. Bria's Death: "Maria and Jason picked me up around 9 p.m. …
- 02/06/08 - Dr. Ian Rubin's Family Has Complained About The Press, But At Least The Family Got Justice.
- 02/13/07 Finally: Greenwich Cops Reopen Bria Drug Death Case
- 03/24/08 - But, Why Isn't There A "Year Long Investgation" In The John J. Bria Drug Death?
- 04/01/08 - The Police Blotter - Getting Drugs Out Of Greenwich High School
- 04/02/08 - Connecticut law: A principal is obligated to bring forward for expulsion any student they believe either sold or distributed drugs.
- 04/21/08 - Reader Submitted Comments: Nightmare On Pemberwick Road - Or, Should We Say "Hell"-o From Pemberwick Road.
- 05/04/07 - Joe Pisani, Editor Of Greenwich Time, Has Been Fired By The Paper's New Owner
- Two months after police filed arrest warrant applications in the 2004 fatal overdose of John Bria III, prosecutors have not approved charges in the death of the teenager who overdosed in his Pemberwick home...
- ..."I'm astounded by the reluctance shown by the State Attorney's Office in this case when the reports are full of information providing probable cause," Seeger said...
- ...A lawsuit filed by Bria's parent in 2005 is still pending and names Katie Hanscom, Savannah Lamotte, Megan Caron, and Jason Cunningham, four youths who spent time with Bria the night of his death, and Donna Cunningham, who picked up her son the morning after the party.Attorneys for all five defendants said their clients bear no responsibility for Bria's death.
THIS HAS BEEN GOING ON SINCE 2005:
According to press reports as late as 07/31/05
Bria Family Attorney Steven Seeger said the test results will be provided to police as evidence that one or more of the youths who were with Bria the night before he died provided the drugs and should be arrested on drug charges in connection with Bria's death, Seeger said.
The Next Greenwich Police Department Cold Case File To Be Solved Is The Drug Death Of Kyle Lendenmann....
Greenwich Parents Also Want To Know Why hasn't the drug dealer been arrested in the year and half old drug death of Greenwich High School student Kyle Lendenmann?
Greenwich Police Chief David Ridberg has previously said police also are continuing a criminal investigation into the death of Kyle Lendenmann, a 17-year-old Greenwich High School student, found dead at his home on Feb. 23 of last year of what authorities said was a methadone overdose.
Let's Arrest Kyle's Drug Dealer!!!
BEHIND THE TIMES:
Where Is Greenwich Time Crime Reporter Matin Cassidy????
When will the Greenwich Time cover the arrest of persons involved in the Bria Drug death?????
One Hour Later Debra Friedman Steps In For Martin Cassidy
TWO FACE DRUG CHARGES
By Debra Friedman
Article Launched: 09/10/2008 03:30:13 PM EDT
A Greenwich man and a New Haven woman were arrested Tuesday night in connection with the criminal investigation surrounding the overdose death of John Bria, Jr.
The charges do not implicate the suspects in the death of Bria, according to Lt. Daniel Allen, spokesman for the department. In March 2004, the state medical examiner ruled the 19-year-old died as a result of an accidental heroin and cocaine overdose, police said.
An initial investigation revealed that on the night prior to Bria's death a party was held in Bria's bedroom where cocaine and heroine were consumed, according to a police report. At the time, no charges were brought against those who attended the party.
On Dec. 4, 2007 the case was re-opened on account of additional information that determined the two arrested subjects had allegedly purchased and brought narcotic substances to the party, police said....
If The Case Was Reopened On December 4, 2007, Then Why Did Greenwich Police Chief David Ridberg Call Up Martin Cassidy Just Before February 13 2008 Annoucing The Bria Case Had Been Reopened?
Could Police Chief David Ridberg was reacting to the exrensive Greenwich Roundup articles on the John Bria Jr Drug Death Case?
Or are Greenwich Police Department personell back dating when they really opened the John Bria Drug Death Case to make it appear that they were already working on the cold case file, when Greenwich Roundup started to expose the the case to Greenwich residents?
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