Dozens of people showed up in Hartford Federal Court Tuesday afternoon for the sentencing of former East Haven police officer Jason Zullo; however the proceedings were not completed by the end of the day.
Zullo was arrested for violating the civil rights of Latinos in East Haven last January along with three others, officers Dennis Spaulding and David Cari as well as Sgt. John Miller.
Zullo pleaded guilty to one count of obstruction of justice in October after police said he followed a person on a motorcycle and deliberately hit the vehicle at least twice, speeding up as he hit it.
However, his attorney Norm Pattis argued that Zullo inadvertently hit the motorcycle while trying to make evasive maneuvers.
Pattis said Zullo pleaded to the charge of obstruction of justice because it omits any mention of a collision with the motorcycle from his police report as well as "threat of liability in the future."
Zullo and Miller have already reached plea deals with the federal government, but Zullo is the first one to be sentenced.
Miller, who is on administrative leave from East Haven Police Department, pleaded guilty to depriving an individual of his right to be free from the use of excessive force by a law enforcement officer in September.
Zullo's sentencing began at 2 p.m. on Tuesday and was not completed by the end of the day. No date has been set at this time for the sentencing to be completed. The sentencing may not occur for some time.
Three people spoke on behalf of the prosecution. On Zullo's side, six people addressed the judge, including Zullo and his wife
Beyond the people who came to court to speak before the judge, there are other procedural matters that must be taken care of, which could have caused the delay.
After pleading guilty, Zullo is expected to serve no less than 12 months and no more than 24 months in prison.
Copyright 2013 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Tuesday, June 18 2013 12:58 PM EDT2013-06-18 16:58:02 GMT
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