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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

02/13/08 - Greenwich Newswire For Wednesday

Greenwich News Reports

US RATE FUTURES-Inch higher, shaking off retail sales
Reuters - USA
... remains very vulnerable to negative shocks," said Alan Ruskin, chief international strategist at RBS Greenwich Capital in Greenwich, Connecticut. ...

Trinity's woes leave FCIAC up for grabs
Stamford Advocate - Stamford,CT
Now there are at least five, six if you believe, as many do, that Greenwich's recent surge is proof they are capable of running off three straight

Greenwich Library in fracas over Mideast lectures
Boston Globe
GREENWICH, Conn.—Free speech issues and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have come to the Greenwich Library. A group critical of Israel and US media ...

Greenwich Blog Posts

Greenwich Library bans lecture series
By CaptCT
It's shocking to see Greenwich Library, an institution committed to giving voice to all points of view -- including those expressed in Carter's book and Walt-Mearsheimer's book -- would try to deny a media watchdog group like If ...
My Left Nutmeg - Front Page - http://www.myleftnutmeg.com

Greenwich Library Steps On Free Speech
By andythibault(andythibault)
The group's director, Alison Weir, said she plans to come to Greenwich anyway, with the expectation that its presentation, "Israel-Palestine: Beyond the Headlines," will proceed as scheduled. Complete Article. Cool Justice Blog.
The Cool Justice Report - http://cooljustice.blogspot.com/

2's and 3's Story Time
Where: Greenwich Library at Children's Constellation Room Drop-in story time for 2 and 3 year olds with a caregiver. Program includes stories, songs, movement and finger plays. No registration required but space is limited. ...
Greenwich Library | Today's Events - http://www.greenwichlibrary.org


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02/13/07 - Finally: Greenwich Cops Reopen Bria Drug Death Case

News Article Via: Stamford Advocate & Greenwich Time

GREENWICH ROUNDUP BACKGROUND COLUMNS FOLLOW THIS GREENWICH TIME ARTICLE.

Source URL: http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/news/local/scn-gt-briafeb13,0,2737549.story

Police reopen fatal overdose case

By Martin B. Cassidy
Police reporter

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.

Ridberg 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.

"We're in discussions with prosecutors on how to go about bringing both cases to a successful conclusion," Ridberg said.

Stamford police two weeks ago quickly charged a man with first-degree manslaughter for allegedly providing drugs and failing to call 911 when Dr. Ian Rubins, a Greenwich plastic surgeon, became ill from an overdose. Rubins later died.

Leonard Bajramaj, 32, of Stamford, has pleaded not guilty in that case.

Stephan Seeger, a lawyer for Bria's family, said he provided Ridberg with the toxicological results as well as civil court affidavits in which witnesses made statements that are inconsistent with those initially given to police.

The new evidence is drawn from a lawsuit filed by Bria's parents in state Superior Court in Stamford in 2005. Named in the civil suit are Katie Hanscom, Savannah Lamotte, Megan Caron and Jason Cunningham, four youths who spent time with Bria the night of his death, and Cunningham's mother, Donna Cunningham, who picked up her son the morning after the party.

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.

Nietzel has filed a motion asking the judge to dismiss the Cunninghams from the case arguing that there is no evidence to support the claim that her clients' actions contributed to Bria's death.

"I'm hard pressed to see how any of the activity that night renders any of the parties present there culpable," Nietzel said. 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."

John J. Bria Jr., Bria's father, declined to comment on the new police investigation or the particulars of the civil case.

Please Educate Yourself About This Poor Byram Boy That Was Left To Die....


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