Justices Hear Appeal In Death Penalty Case

By DAVE COLLINS, Associated Press

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ The Connecticut Supreme Court is set to hear the appeal of a man sentenced to death for what prosecutors say was a murder-for-hire in exchange for a broken snowmobile.

The case of Eduardo Santiago goes before the high court on Wednesday.

The 31-year-old former Torrington resident was sentenced to die by lethal injection in 2005 for the shooting death of 45-year-old Joseph Niwinski in West Hartford in December 2000. Two other men pleaded guilty and are serving life sentences.

Santiago’s lawyer says there was a host of problems at the trial, including juror misconduct and the judge withholding some evidence of Santiago’s troubled childhood. The appeal also notes that the jury was split on whether Santiago pulled the trigger.

Prosecutors deny all the defense’s claims.

     (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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