NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) _ A man serving 56 years in prison for his role in a 2001 killing has been sentenced to two more years behind bars for slashing a deputy warden in the face with a sharpened toothbrush two years ago.
Kenyon Joseph, 38, pleaded no contest Monday to an assault charge in New London Superior Court. He was sentenced to the extra prison time and ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation, while his release date was moved to 2060.
Joseph has said the September 2012 attack on Deputy Warden Stephen Bates at the Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Institution in Montville was part of an effort to get transferred to another prison after he was assaulted by two gang members. The original target was Warden Scott Erfe, who was speaking to prisoners in a common area, but Bates intervened and suffered a puncture wound to his cheek.
Prison officials did move Joseph to the maximum-security Northern Correctional Institution in Somers, where he remains today.
Joseph’s lawyer, Theodore Koch, said his client has serious mental health problems and was in a “dissociated rage” when he attacked Bates.
Under the plea deal, Joseph retains his right to appeal a ruling earlier this month by another judge who rejected his plan to use a “defense of necessity” at trial. Under that doctrine, people are allowed to break the law if it would stop greater harm.
“I believe this ruling . deprived us of the defense we were going to make,” Koch said.
Joseph and three other men were convicted in a 2001 shooting in Meriden that killed a man– 22-year-old Derling Mercado– and injured two others.
Joseph was convicted of felony murder. The shooter, Eddie Schmidt, is serving a 65-year sentence for the same crime.
(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)