Thursday, October 06, 2005

For THIS to occur

... much more has to be going on behind the scenes in Connecticut.

2 More Charged In Attack On Psychologist
Authorities Say They Conspired With Convicted Gunman To Kill Author Derek Hopson

October 6, 2005 By ALAINE GRIFFIN, Hartford Courant Staff Writer

MIDDLETOWN (Connecticut) -- Two men, including a head psychologist at a nonprofit social service agency in Waterbury, were charged Wednesday with conspiring to kill a former Middlesex Hospital psychologist in May 2003.

Psychologist Ernest C. Garlington and Terrence Battle are accused of conspiring with a third man, Robbie Santos, to kill Derek Hopson, a prominent psychologist, author and stepfather of basketball star Ray Allen.

The arrests Wednesday pick up where Santos' attempted-murder trial left off and suggest strongly that Santos was a hired hitman.Santos, 33, was sentenced in May to 18 years in prison for the May 21, 2003, shooting in the parking lot of Middlesex Hospital's mental health clinic on South Main Street. The bullet from Santos' gun missed and Hopson wasn't injured.

Santos, an 11-time convicted felon, denied any role in the shooting but prosecution motions said Santos was offered $8,000 by an "unknown person to pop [shoot to kill]" Hopson.

A correction officer and an inmate testified at Santos' trial that Santos talked about the attempted shooting while he was locked up. The inmate said Santos bragged about being hired to kill Hopson by a woman he did not identify. The woman told Santos that Hopson had hurt her, according to testimony. Garlington, who is now married to Hopson's ex-wife, and Battle are charged in connection with the May attempted shooting and another alleged assault on Hopson, also in the clinic's parking lot, on Aug. 12, 2002. In that incident, Hopson was attacked with a golf club.

Garlington, 37, of 111 Old Mountain Road, in the Marion section of Southington, was charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree assault, two counts of inciting injury to a person, soliciting and/or requesting the commission of a first-degree assault and criminal attempt to commit first-degree assault, police said. He was also charged with aiding in the commission of a second-degree assault, soliciting and/or requesting the commission of a murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

Garlington is director of psychological services at New Opportunities Inc., a private, nonprofit corporation that administers social service programs for low-income families in Waterbury and surrounding communities. Late Wednesday, he was being held in the Middletown police lockup, with bail set at $1.7 million. Further details about the arrests were unavailable late Wednesday.

Battle, 31, of 4 Richmond Ave., Waterbury, was charged with aiding in the commission of an attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder and criminal attempt to commit murder.

Battle was being held in the same lockup, with bail set at $950,000. Both men are to be arraigned this morning in Superior Court in Middletown.

At Santos' sentencing in May, Hopson, 53, of West Hartford, confronted Santos about the May 2003 attack that occurred nine days before his wedding to Flora Allen-Hopson, mother of the Seattle SuperSonics guard and former UConn star.

Hopson is a well-known psychologist who, along with his former wife, Darlene Powell-Garlington, also a clinical psychologist, wrote several books about relationships and child-rearing, and ran the former Hopson Center for Psychological and Educational Services in Middlefield. The couple divorced in October 2001. Hopson said the incident has forced him to undergo counseling and relinquish his job at Middlesex Hospital and the patients he was treating. He has hired security guards to watch over him and his family.

At the time of the trial, Hopson said he "could not divulge evidence" he had linking someone else to the shooting, but pointed to Santos' hometown of Waterbury as the place where that person or people might be. He urged the judge to give Santos a tough prison sentence to "send a message to all those who live in Greater Waterbury."

Judge Robert L. Holzberg found Santos guilty in July 2004 of the attempted murder of Hopson.

Hopson testified that as he was walking to his car, Santos approached him and asked for money.

Hopson, saying he sensed danger, got into his car. Santos then fired at him through the window, but missed. In a nod to claims of an alleged murder-for-hire, Holzberg said during Santos' sentencing the "very difficult case" still has "unanswered questions," particularly whether Santos was hired "at the behest of someone else."

The judge said putting Santos in prison does not guarantee the safety of Hopson and his family because "whoever" might have been involved in the shooting "is still at liberty."

Garlington is scheduled to lead a workshop later this month at a seminar in Orlando, Fla., sponsored by the National Black Child Development Institute.

To comment on this story, or to request a correction click here to send a message to Karen Hunter, The Courant's reader representative. Click here to read Karen's daily Weblog.

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http://starkravingviking.blogspot.com/2010/06/dumbass-pot-smoker-video.html

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