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NL police making progress in homicide investigation

By Karen Florin

Publication: theday.com

Published February 04. 2014 7:00PM   Updated February 04. 2014 11:09PM

New London — City police say their investigation into the shooting death of Jesus Pinero on Aug. 29, 2013, is moving forward.

“It’s progressing quite well,” said Deputy Chief Peter Reichard. “Hopefully there will be a resolution in the near future.”

Pinero, 29, also known as “Gee,” was fatally shot in the area of Connecticut Avenue and Prest Street. The state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled he died of multiple gunshot wounds to the torso and extremities and was the victim of a homicide.

New London police have not publicly identified or arrested Pinero’s alleged killer. They have, however, charged 33-year-old Lance J. Brown of Uncasville with firing a gun at the scene of the homicide.

“We believe he was returning fire at the person who actually did the homicide,” said Reichard.

Brown, who has two previous weapons convictions, was identified as a suspect through DNA from a handgun that was recovered at the scene, according to Reichard. Brown was extradited from the Newark, N.J., area and is being held in lieu of $200,500. He is charged with criminal possession of a firearm, carrying a pistol without a permit, first-degree reckless endangerment and illegal discharge of a firearm.

During a court appearance Wednesday in New London Superior Court, Brown’s attorney, Herman Woodard Jr. of Hartford, argued unsuccessfully for a reduction of his bond. Woodard said Brown had remained in the area for four months after the shooting and that the warrant for his arrest happened to come out when Brown went to New Jersey for a week to visit his children.

“It wasn’t America’s Most Wanted, where there was a shootout,” Woodard said.

But after listening to a bail commissioner’s recitation of Brown’s criminal history, which includes convictions for threatening, carrying an illegal weapon, carrying a pistol without a permit and failure to appear in court, Judge Hillary B. Strackbein denied the motion for a bond reduction. The judge said she also took into consideration the serious nature of the charges against Brown.

At the request of State’s Attorney Michael L. Regan, Strackbein has sealed the search warrant and arrest warrant affidavits in Brown’s court file until further notice. In requesting that the documents be sealed, Regan said that making them public could be harmful to the ongoing investigation.

Brown’s next court date is Feb. 28.

k.florin@theday.com

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