Friday, March 27, 2009

An Unusual Filing ...

State of Connecticut
Clarence Willoughby


The defendant in this case is a former homicide for the New Haven Police Department. He is accused of forging public documents as a means of absconding with funds designated for confidential informants in a series of investigations in New Haven. He has pleaded not guilty and elected a trial by jury.

At issue are payments made in four investigations: the Hill shooting spree, the Bennet murder, the Fields murder and the Rodriguez murder. Such documents and records regarding these payments as exist are a pivotal part of the State’s case. While there are no documents linking Mr. Willoughby to the Hill shooting spree, there are documents indicating he sought approval of CI payments to one source and received payments intended for that one source in the Bennet, Rodtrizuez and Fields murders. In each of these cases, former Lieutenant William White witnessed receipt of the cash funds by the defendant; in two of the cases, Mr. White approved the payments in advance.

Mr. White is a necessary witness in this trial. His role in the approval of contested payments and his presence at the time funds were disbursed are material factors in Mr. Willoughby’s defense. The defense intends to put on evidence that Mr. Willoughby feared for the life and physical safety of the informant who actually received these funds, Glenn Smith, because he was aware of allegations that Mr. White was corrupt. As a result, Mr. Willoughby sought to keep the identify of the informant from Mr. White.

Mr. While has since been convicted of crimes arising from his conduct as a New Haven police officer and is serving a federal sentence of imprisonment at the Morgantown Federal Correctional Institution. During the federal prosecution of Mr. White, the defense learned that Mr. White was the target of a federal investigation in which he was observed and recorded stealing money from a suspected drug dealer and expressing indifference about whether a confidential was killed as a result of the theft, the very sort of conduct which led Mr. Willoughby to take steps to protect the identity and life of his informant. Mr. Willoughby was aware that Mr. White engaged in conduct of this sort when he hid the identity of his informant.

Mr. White is beyond the subpoena power of the defendant. However, the undersigned’s office has been in touch with federal prison officials. We are assured that if the State of Connecticut makes a request for the production of this witness, arranges for his travel and assures him housing, the witness can be produced in a timely manner to testify in this case. State’s Attorney Michael Dearington is willing to make the request for the production of Mr. Willoughby. The defendant here requests that this Court order the state to make arrangements for the transportation and housing of Mr. White. (A draft of the necessary state writ is attached to this motion.)

WHEREFORE, the defendant requests that an order issuing the State of Connecticut to take the steps necessary to safely transport and house Mr. White for his testimony at trial issue. Mr. White’s presence is necessary to assure that the defendant receive a fair trial.