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Saturday, August 13, 2011

THE STRANGE CASE OF PRINCESS THE DOG, HER OWNER/STABBER, JUDGE SCARPELLINO AND THE MERIDEN, CT COURT!




Princess, the gorgeous Staffordshire Terrier mix, on her way to recovery 2 month after
her assault with 29 stab wounds by her betraying owner Alexander P. Bernard,
 and despite the idiocy of Judge Philip A.  Scarpellino,
Assistant State's Attorney James "Jim" Turcotte, and Public Defender Thomas Conroy.

I'm sorry to say that the song and movie clip that most comes to mind is the fear and cowardly reactions  of the
Cowardly Lion and a little girl named Dorothy,
from the movie classic The Wizard of Oz, when I think of Alexander Bernard, Judge Scarpellino,
Assistant State's Attorney James "Jim" Turcotte, Judge Barbara Quinn & their palace guards,
and Public Defender Thomas Conroy in this strange case.
Below please find three articles I've published at http://www.examiner.com/government-in-hartford/steven-alexander in the past 6 weeks regarding the strange case of Alexander P. Bernard who is manipulating the Judge in the case, Philip Scarpellino, the prosecutor's office run by a rude and absurdly inappropriate man named James "Jim" Turcotte, and even the Public Defender's office and his own Public Defender Thomas Conroy. I also include the notes I wrote when I heard the astonishing presentation of Judge Scarpellino from the bench on July 22nd. OMG! The Meriden Superior Court is outa control in all departments, as is the entire State and federal court system from the Robert's Supreme Court on down! Help!!!!! This case is absurd! I'm still seeking redress of grievances from Jim Turcotte's boss down in New Haven, State's Attorney Michael Dearington, and a call back from Chief's State's Attorney Kevin Kane would be nice now, as well. Alexander Bernard needs more than time served and far more than 60 days in jail. He needs at least a sentence that would place him into a Maximum Security prison yard to mull over his bad choices and malicious vicious attack for a few years. And Judge Philip Scarpellino and Assistant State's Attorney James "Jim" Turcotte have some serious questions to be asked and answered under oath, as does the Public Defender in the case, Thomas Conroy. The Connecticut General Assembly's Judiciary Committee needs to get to work on this one, and contacts to the appropriate legislators will be made. What follows are two Examiner.com articles dated July 13th and July 31st, my notes unedited from the July 22nd appearance, and the Examiner.com article I published this afternoon, August 13th, 2011.
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Alleged Dog Stabber Turns Down 60 Day Offer By Meriden Court

(Hartford Government Examiner July 13th, 2011)

Charged with stabbing his own dog, Princess who is a Staffordshire terrier mix, on May 25th, Alexander P. Bernard appeared in Meriden Superior Court July 12thand rejected an offer by the State of a one year sentence suspended after 60 days served in jail. Judge Phillip Scarpellino presided over the appearance, attended in court by 5 protesters wearing red t-shirts which read: “Abuse An Animal… GO TO JAIL! It Should Be That Simple!” Another animal rights advocate attended, Barbara Blake, and Patty Daponte from Meriden wore a T-shirt which she had custom silk-screened featuring a photo of the injured Princess on the front and Mr. Bernard’s photo on the back headlined: “PRINCESS Dogs are miracles with paws. We can’t change the world, but we can change their world.”


The protesters were in the courtroom as court convened at 10am and waited until a long series of defendants in various cases were called before Mr. Bernard was escorted from a holding cell in handcuffs and shackles and appeared next to his attorney before Judge Scarpellino. Mr. Bernard’s public defender, Thomas Conroy, addressed the court indicating that Mr. Bernard wished to make a statement on his own behalf. The defendant then requested a different attorney, complained that the New Haven Correctional Center where he has been held on a $10,000 bond since June 27th,after being adjudicated competent to stand trial, is not allowing him access to phones, and requested a continuance in the case until July 26th.


Judge Scarpellino indicated in open court that an offer had been made to Mr. Bernard of a one year jail term suspended after 60 days served, followed by probation for the charge pending against him which is animal cruelty. Mr. Bernard rejected the offer in court. The Judge indicated to Mr. Bernard that if the case was continued as he wished and if he pursued his endeavors to switch attorneys, that by the time his legal maneuverings were complete he likely would have served the remainder of the 60 days being offered and already be out of jail. The judge is on vacation the week of July 26thand continued Mr. Bernard’s case until July 22ndand that is when his next appearance is now scheduled. Both the judge and Mr. Bernard’s attorney appeared exasperated by the defendant’s actions. Judge Scarpellino indicated that he would ensure that the Correction Center would facilitate phone calls for Mr. Bernard as appropriate.

Outside the courtroom the animal rights advocates gathered and spoke up. Patty Daponte was asked why she came to court and her response was: “I’m here for justice for Princess, the dog that was stabbed 29 times,” and that she was following the case because of “My love for dogs.” Donna Ploss indicated that the red shirts they were wearing dated from “An animal abuse case in the court in New Britain where a woman took her roommate’s cat and tortured it and killed it. She got three months. And this is where these shirts originally came from. So what I do is whenever I go to a court case like this I wear this shirt. It makes a statement. I just wish the judges and the prosecutors would get it!” When asked how often she goes to cases like this, Ms. Ploss’ reply was: “Every time I can.” Those who came to demonstrate their support for Princess objected strongly and universally to the 60 day offer and even to merely a one year sentence for Mr. Bernard. The feeling is that even though animal cruelty has been legislated a felony in the state of Connecticut, that the courts and prosecutors are not seeking stiff enough sentences.


At present, Princess is in the care of North Haven Animal Hospital, and a phone call to the facility provided some good news. Princess has apparently recovered to the point that placement in a new home is now feasible, and the process is under the purview of the Hamden Animal Control office! She is nearly well enough medically for that to now transpire. Dr. Wells of the Animal Hospital spoke with me, and confirmed Princess’ much improved medical situation. Her most severe injuries had been blood loss from the sheer volume of stab wounds and a pneumothorax—a lung collapse (exactly the same consequence I, myself, suffered several years ago which placed me in ICU at Yale New Haven Hospital accompanied the most excruciating pain of my life) and bleeding within the lungs. She is no longer in danger of losing her life and will be in a new home soon!


So there might be a diseased apple in this barrel. But the moral of the story is that rotted apples do NOT necessarily reflect upon the remainder of the apples within the community barrel, including well-motivated veterinary hospitals and advocates who find time in busy lives to demonstrate concern for spiritual beings who happen to be having temporary canine experiences and are subject to the whims of human owners who can be capricious to say the least, and cruel on rare occasions.
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Hamden Dog Stabbing Courtroom Shenanigans: Judge Scarpellino Must Go!

(Hartford Government Examiner July 31, 2011)


Alexander P. Bernard, 25, is charged with stabbing his own dog 29 times on May 25th, 2011 in a neighbor’s driveway. The victim is Princess the Staffordshire Terrier mix, a beautiful animal with a wonderful gentle temperament, nearly 100% better medically from her injuries suffered in the incident. She is receiving somewhat sacrificial care by veterinarian Dr. James Wells and his staff at North Haven Animal Hospital, a wonderful facility. This Examiner, along with two animal rights advocates visited Princess after Bernard’s Meriden courthouse appearance on July 22nd, and some photos are included in a slideshow accompanying this article. Princess was responsive to us three strangers, honored me with allowing me to touch and pet her very quickly, seemed a bit nervous with all the attention, but was clearly happy with the affections of the familiar staff. All three visitors, staff and Princess had a great time. Dr. Wells was in surgery, but was eager to see Princess’ visitors, and requested that we remain until he could come out and speak with us personally and we were delighted to do so. Princess suffered the 29 wounds, loss of blood and a pneumothorax, which is a lung collapse involving relatively little liquid filling the lung cavity where the lung is supposed to be. I, myself suffered a spontaneous pneumothorax fifteen years ago which placed me in the ICU at Yale New Haven Hospital for two days, due not to an injury, but due to a congenital illness, and I was hospitalized for a total of a week. I have never before or since suffered such agonizing pain as I did from that partial lung collapse.


At his July 12th Meriden Superior court appearance (his case is being heard by Judge Phillip Scarpellino, and he’s represented by Public Defender Thomas Conroy, no specific prosecutor is Public Defender Thomas Conroy, no specific prosecutor is assigned), Mr. Conroy spoke to the judge indicating that Mr. Bernard wished to make a statement. The Judge allowed this, and Bernard said he was dissatisfied with Conroy, wanted to locate another attorney and asked for a continuance to the end of July in order to do so. He also said that the Whalley Avenue Corrections Center in New Haven, where he is being held on $10,000 bond, has not been cooperative in allowing him phone calls.

He talked about legislation passed by the General Assembly had the effect of turning the courts into a ‘department’ rather than a ‘branch’ of state government. He indicated his anger at such legislative ‘interference,’ spoke extensively about Assembly politics and legislation, and offered an impromptu seeming op-ed piece from the bench. He quoted the letter as having said that “the sheer violence of his attack is enormously worrisome and the fact that the court doesn’t take this seriously” is a concern to the legislators. Scarpellino angrily expressed his feeling that this passage indicated that the letter writer assumed Mr. Bernard’s guilt. Scarpellino insisted repeatedly that this letter would not color his view of the case and said that he was still qualified to handle it unless ‘the lawyers’ felt otherwise. He did not recuse himself from the case. Mr. Bernard’s case was continued to August 29th, because Judge Scarpellino “took all his vacation time all at once.” He ordered a second competency determination for Bernard, even though he was only deemed competent by the very same court 21 days prior to this appearance on July 1st! Scarpellino said, and this is a direct quote: “I’m not worried about the Legislature reappointing me.” His rationale for this statement he said was that he’d been reappointed last year and had 7 more years before he was subject to reappointment since Connecticut Superior court judges are appointed to 8 year terms. If the legislature chooses to do so, judges can be reviewed and removed by a constitutional process in the intervening years known as impeachment.
I'd put a picture of Judge Philip Scarpellino here, but a biography and/or photo of him is unavailable at the Judiciary.gov website for the state of Connecticut, one of the few Superior Court Judges for which that is the case. :(
Judge Scarpellino spoke extensively in praise of his own ‘transparency’ as a judge. He received the letter which so offends him on June 9th, he said. Mr. Bernard has had several court appearances, been adjudicated competent by his court, been jailed and $10,000 bond imposed since his receipt of that letter. In open court on July 22nd for the first time it was revealed finally that the reason for Mr. Bernard's jailing and the imposition of a $10,000 bond on June 27th was his illegal removal of the monitoring ankle bracelet he was required to wear as a condition of his release in order that law enforcement authorities could keep track of his whereabouts. On July 22nd for the first time he revealed publicly the existence of this letter. He also said that for the first time he brought it to the attention of the defendant and his attorney that morning. Like Saran Wrap. Transparent? Questions in this case about the conduct of Judge Scarpellino? You bet! The Judge also spoke in glowing terms about cameras in the courtroom and how open the courts are and how wonderful cameras in the courtroom are. And, being the transparent jurist that he is, how he would delight in such an open process himself.

I called the Meriden Court Clerks’ office first thing Monday morning July 25th to put in my request to record via audio, still and/or video photography the August 29th appearance before Judge Scarpellino. The woman who answered the phone in the Clerk’s office said she didn’t know how to hook that up, and I asked her to follow up. She cuffed the phone, and came back on and said hurry on down and file a motion quick and you can get it done that way. I would have to file a motion with the clerks’ office. So I got down there that day, and asked for a form to fill out. I was told by the woman on the phone that there is no form. She said just write something out. Having been there, done that with trying to produce just the right legalese without guidance and certain I was incompetent to write any sort of proper motion without guidance or any format, I was sent to the “Help Desk” on the second floor.


The handwritten sign on the “Help Desk” door said the “Help Desk” was closed until the next business day. Dejected, I happened to see Janis, the Judges secretary/Admin. Asst. emerge from the elevator and I sought her guidance. Nice, she sat me down in her office and told me the clerks’ office was dead wrong. I can’t file a motion she said, I’m not a party to the case. She said I should call the Administrator’s office for the Superior Courts (run by Judge Quinn, the boss of the Judges—mentioned by Scarpellino from the bench, he’s sent a copy of that letter to her) and gave me a contact name. I went out into the second floor lobby and called there. They said that the Superior Court Judges themselves decided in their annual meeting in June that cameras should be allowed in the courtrooms. But only at jury trials and arraignments everywhere except the Hartford Courts until January, because it’s being phased in and experimented with. So, since Bernard’s next appearance is neither of those, no cameras or audio equipment. So the transparent Judge was safe in touting his love of courtroom cameras on July 22nd indeed, knowing what he did of the status of courtroom cameras in the Meriden courthouse at this point. I will be requesting an interview with Judge Quinn shortly, btw.
Manipulating Public Defender Thomas Conroy, boy do I wanna ask him some questions!
That's him on the right, the guy on the left is not the perpetrator in this case, its somebody
else, this is a file photo from Google.com and the only available clear pic of Conroy.

This IS Alexander Bernard, the guy who says he stabbed his own dog, beautiful and Gentle Princess!

I stopped off at the Public Defender’s office since I was in the building; it was late in the day and not too busy. The door next to the window with the hole in it was open and nobody responding, but I flagged a guy down who turned out to be an investigator for the office. I told him I was a reporter and I’d like to speak for a moment with Thomas Conroy. The investigator disappeared and 15 seconds later returned saying “He doesn’t want to speak with any reporters.” I asked him to return to Mr. Conroy and inquire as to why that was the case, since he doesn’t know the nature of my visit. He disappeared and Mr. Conroy came to the glass window and I said through the hole in the window that I was from Examiner.com and that I’d like to ask about the Bernard case. Mr. Conroy waved me off insultingly and said only “Client confidentiality” and walked off rudely. Mr. Conroy, prior to the July 22nd appearance, has spoken with the press about the case and has never met this reporter before.
Assistant State's Attorney James "Jim" Turcotte also does NOT like answering questions, but likes to
call reporters and play games without realizing they are seeking the counsel of a church deacon friend when
the reporter is mourning the loss of a loved one.

I now went to visit the State’s Attorney’s office and saw a guy in a suit and tie leaning back, jovial and laughing on the phone behind the much larger glass window with the hole in it in that office. I couldn’t help but overhear his loud conversation, he was laughing uproariously and saying to his phone caller that “I want to be there, Phillip Scarpellino is” on the bench that day as he could hardly restrain his laughter. The phone call ended, he came over and I asked about the Bernard case and if someone could offer a statement. No, was the essential answer since the fellow in charge of the office was on vacation. If he’s gone, who could speak on the case? I have to wait until his return. Who’s assigned to the case? Nobody in particular. Why? Cost and we have a huge caseload. Doesn’t that eliminate accountability and make it impossible for anyone to get answers and make it possible for nobody to have to take responsibility for cases such as Bernard’s? Oh no. We went around in circles and this prosecutor was clearly entertained by the debate and engaged me for 15 minutes or more at the very end of the business day. While we spoke he buzzed in the only other two people I saw in the area, two guys in tattered jeans who reviewed notes with the prosecutor and I could hear the entire conversation. They needed to know exactly what the prosecutor would need to get a conviction on a drug case they were working I could tell. The three laughed at the notes as they read. When they were leaving and the prosecutor returned to me, I laughed and asked him if they were, in fact, undercover cops, and he said yes they were. This prosecutor blew their cover in front of a perfect stranger who had identified himself without written identification as a reporter. Wow. I won’t name this prosecutor right now, but what incompetence. He risked those cops safety and the potential of the very case they were working on, and so, by the way, did the cops.


The number listed for Judge Scarpellino, which is actually the number for the Meriden Judges altogether is: 203-238-6137. I recommend that all who care about animal cruelty, justice and competent judges call a.s.a.p. The fax for Judge Scarpellino is 203-238-6423. Flooding them with calls and faxes cannot hurt at this point and there is still time for justice for Princess. August 29th is Bernard’s next appearance.


I certainly now have many questions for the administrator of Connecticut's Superior Courts about the competency, transparency, and training of Clerk's office personnel, those who leave hand-written notes on "Help Center" doors deferring business to the next business day during business hours on a nice sunny July day, the Judges, the Public Defender's office and the office of the State's Attorney and the competency of one prosecutor in particular and the safety of local undercover cops when he's present in that office alone at the Meriden Superior Court. And many, many questions about the handling of this case in particular, but that of all animal abuse and neglect cases in the state of Connecticut court system. I very much look forward to meeting Judge Quinn at her earliest convenience.
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NOTES FROM COURTROOM APPEARANCE


July 22nd, 2011


Meriden, CT Superior Court

Alexander Bernard Appearance On Animal Cruelty Charge – Dog Stabbing Incident


Steve Alexander


Examiner.com


unabashedleft@gmail.com Notes from courtroom appearance:


Judge Phillip Scarpellino presided, Same Public Defender as last time, identified previously as Thomas Conroy. Routine cases dispensed with and first defendant called from lock-up at 10:50am was Alexander Bernard (wearing same clothes – horizontal striped hoodie, jeans) as last appearance. Bernard was silent at this appearance, his attorney and Judge Scarpellino the only speakers during the proceeding, prosecutor was silent and not called upon by the judge.


Scarpellino began speaking from the bench about a letter he had received previously pertaining to the case. Judge spoke extensively on this letter. Letter written by a State Legislator (not named by the judge) and signed by 23 others, including the districts they represent. Scarpellino repeatedly mentioned that the signers of the letter indicated their district (expressing his feeling that indicating their districts was an attempt at intimidation) and seemed focused on this matter. The judge said it was sent and signed by the 23 members of the General Assembly of CT and dated 6/2/11 and received by him 6/9/11. Scarpellino continued to say that he had called the judicial office of External Affairs in Hartford, and reported to Judge Barbara Quinn on the letter. He said he “just wanted to make Hartford aware of the situation” and that he didn’t feel it necessary to remove himself from the case, unless ‘the attorneys’ felt it necessary.


Although such a letter might alter his view of the defendant’s case in a negative way Scarpellino suggested, he was not affected by this letter and felt qualified to continue on the case. Direct quote: “I’m not worried about the legislature reappointing me.” He clarified this comment by saying that Judges are appointed by the legislature every 8 years and he has 7 left before he is subject to reappointment. Scarpellino emphasized repeatedly that the letter was inappropriate, however would not alter his views on the dispensation of the case. He had particular displeasure that the signers would indicate their districts. He described the letter as having 3 paragraphs. The first cited ‘academic studies’ of incidences of cruelty and FBI stats. He quoted from the next portion of the letter, this is as close to verbatim as I could get: “The shear violence of his attack is enormously worrisome and the fact that the court doesn’t take this seriously” was a concern to the legislators. Scarpellino expressed dismay that the letter writer assumed Mr. Bernard’s guilt and dismay at the Legislature intervening at all in Judiciary proceedings, whether unofficially or officially. He offered the opinion that recent legislation passed by the General Assembly rendered the Connecticut Judiciary a ‘department’ and not a ‘branch’ of government any longer, and expressed his anger at such legislative modifications. He spoke at length about the politics of the legislature and the judiciary.


He introduced the letter as “Exhibit A” in the case, and said that it is now ‘in the file.’ He indicated that he felt himself still qualified to handle the case but offered to disqualify himself if ‘the lawyers’ requested it. He spoke of his personal ‘transparency’ and of how courtrooms in general are more transparent, with cameras allowed in courtrooms and such. He said he revealed the existence of the letter to the defendant and his defender before the appearance that day, and met with the State’s Attorney assigned to the case and with the defendant’s attorney.


Scarpellino said ‘he took all his vacation time all at once’ and that he would not be back until late August, and continued the case until Mr. Bernard’s next appearance on August 29th. Bernard’s attorney then spoke up and indicated that he would accept this date. Scarpellino and the defender spoke about Bernard’s ruling as competent to stand trial in late June following a competency determination by the state. The judge offered the explanation of the difference between having the ability to understand the charges against oneself, as opposed to having the ability to assist ones’ attorney(s) in one’s own defense and ordered a second competency determination.


No mention was made of Bernard’s refusal to allow his attorney to speak on his behalf at his appearance July 12th and his request for a new attorney and the original purpose of the continuance until July 22nd which was to allow Bernard time to find alternate legal representation. It was also revealed that bond was set at $10,000 and Bernard jailed on June 27th due to his removal of an electronic tracking ankle bracelet required by the conditions of his original release upon his arrest.


After court, Donna Ploss and Patty Daponte, two activists who have attended Bernard’s Meriden court appearance in protest of animal cruelty and of the judicial treatment of such cases and Bernard’s offenses in particular, and I went to North Haven Animal Hospital and visited with the victim of the stabbing, Princess the Staffordshire Terrier mix, and met briefly with attending veterinarian Dr. James Wells. Princess appeared healthy, hair beginning to grow back on her left side where major surgery was required, a bit shy and somewhat suspicious, but she warmed up to her visitors and enjoyed our attention and affection. The staff was delighted by our visit, and Princess clearly has a high level of trust with the staff. We visited with her for 15 minutes or so, and Dr. Wells requested that we remain a few minutes, from surgery, so he could greet us personally and tell us of Princess’ status, which is very good medically. We informed him of the latest goings on in court that morning.

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DOG STABBING: RECUSE SCARPELLINO JUDGE QUINN/JUDICIARY COMMITTEE REVIEW NEEDED!

Hartford Government Examiner August 13th, 2011

This is the latest installment in a series of articles, updating the strange case of Alexander P. Bernard, who allegedly stabbed his own pet dog 29 times in a neighbor’s Hamden driveway in broad daylight in late May. Bernard was released without bond at the time and charged with only a misdemeanor, even though felony charges are available and appropriate for such a heinous public act of malicious violence against this beautiful pup, Princess, whom I’ve met at the North Haven Animal Hospital where she is still recuperating two and a half months later, and has the gentle soul of a saint. He was jailed and sent to Whalley Correctional Center in New Haven and placed on a $10,000 bond on July 27th when he demonstrated his complete lack of remorse by removing his monitoring anklet and violating the terms of his release in an effort to defy the courts and the police. On July 12th he appeared in court before the strange Judge in the case, Philip Scarpellino of GA 7 at the Meriden Superior Courthouse, and his Public Defender Thomas Conroy only said that Bernard wished to speak on his own behalf and Bernard railed against his attorney Conroy, requesting a continuance so he could find another lawyer. Scarpellino granted the continuance to July 22nd so Bernard could secure a new lawyer. Scarpellino, in a rare move, revealed from the bench at that July 12th appearance that Bernard had been offered a one year jail sentence, to be suspended after 60 days served, and appeared to rebuke Bernard from the bench, commenting that if he continues the case to the end of July as he wished, that he’d only have 30 more days remaining to serve and he’d be freed. Bernard refused Scarpellino’s attempts from the bench to entice him to accept the offer, and was returned to Whalley Ave. A call to the State’s Attorney’s office that afternoon resulted in Assistant State’s Attorney James “Jim” Turcotte happening to answer the phone to the office by this reporter, and he seemed surprised that Judge Scarpellino should reveal the terms of an offer rejected by a defendant from the bench, and wouldn’t confirm the offer, saying instead, that “what the Judge says from the bench” is what he says, and clearly implying the veracity of Judge Scarpellino’s report of the offer.




For all the details of the past court appearances and the case, please see the review article at: http://unabashedleft.blogspot.com/2011/08/strange-case-of-princess-dog-her.html, including my own notes, unedited, from the bizarre July 22nd appearance in which Bernard’s efforts to find a new attorney was the sole purpose for the continuance, and which was never addressed that day at all in court. Instead Public Defender Conroy spoke for Bernard, Bernard spoke not at all and Scarpellino revealed the existence of a letter from a State Legislator he did not identify, signed by 22 others and politicked from the bench, railing against legislation he doesn’t like, complaining of the legislators’ ‘interference’ and yet claiming it doesn’t taint his view of the case! Bizarre!!! He indicated that he’s had possession of this letter since June 9th (the letter is dated June 7th ), but didn’t reveal it to the defendant or his counsel until that morning of July 12th, all the while touting his transparency and his love of openness and courtroom cameras and sound equipment.






We’ve since acquired a copy of that letter, and its author is 43rd District State Representative from North Stonington, Diana Urban, and it was signed by 22 other State Representatives, both Republicans and Democrats. That letter reads:
43rd District CT State Representative Diana Urban and a Friend!

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Judge Barbara M. Quinn Judge Philip Scarpellino


Chief Court Administrator; Superior Court, Meriden

Dear Honorable Judges Quinn and Scarpellino:


Hundreds of academic studies have linked animal violence to human violence and Alexander Bernard’s actions clearly show cause for great concern. Mr. Bernard was released in lieu of $10,000 bond after stabbing his approximately 8 month old dog 29 times. Bernard said he did so because “his neighbors didn’t like the dog.” After his arrest, Alexander Bernard was referred to Catholic Charities, sent to live with an aunt, made to wear an electronic monitoring device and abide by a curfew. What Mr. Bernard did to this innocent young dog shows a shocking lack of empathy and a shocking and inappropriate level of violence. This adult didn’t steal a pack of gum from the grocery store; he stabbed a living breathing creature 29 times as if it was a completely natural thing to do. Clearly this individual is incapable of making rational decisions and shows a dangerous lack of civility and remorse. If Alexander Bernard could ruthlessly stab the family pet, imagine what he might be capable of in the years to come should his behavior go unpunished and untreated.


Since 1971 the FBI has recognized animal cruelty as a red flag for future violent behavior. Almost every school shooter began by engaging in animal cruelty. It is time we took animal cruelty seriously and approach it as an opportunity to interrupt the cycle of violence. It is distressing that Mr. Bernard would be released without bail basically on his own recognizance. The sheer violence of his attack is enormously worrisome and the fact that the court doesn’t appear to take what he did seriously is also distressing. We know that there is a link between animal cruelty and violet behavior and we need to use this knowledge to take these kinds of attacks seriously. The legislature has passed legislation providing for judges to send people like Mr. Bernard into counseling; and we have strong animal cruelty laws that can be invoked. If these laws are not used and Mr. Bernard’s case is nolled or he asks for Accelerated Rehab there will be no record of what he has done.


Mr. Bernard stabbed a sweet defenseless dog 29 times. What other indicator do we need to know that this man has a terrible violence in him?


Sincerely,


Diana Urban


State Representative, 43rdDistrict


Also signing were:


Audin Grogins, D-129 (Bridgeport); Robert Megna D-97 (New Haven); Michelle L. Cook, D-65 (Torrington); Susan M. Johnson, D-49 (Willimantic); Brenda Kupchik, R-132 (Fairfield); Kim Fawcett, D-133 (Fairfield/Westport); Noreen Kokoruda, R-101 (Madison); David Kiner, D-59 (Enfield); Steven Mikutel, D-45, (Griswold); Henry Genga, D-10 (East Hartford); Paul Davis, D-117 (Orange); Richard Roy, D-119 (Milford); Elaine O'Brien, D-61 (Windsor); Brian Becker, D-19 (West Hartford); Philip J. Miller, D-36 (Haddam/Deep River); Jack Hennessey, D-127 (Bridgeport); Elizabeth Ritter, D-38 (Waterford); Christopher Lyddy, R-106 (Newtown); Lonnie Reed, D-102 (Branford)


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2 + 2 = ?

Alexander Bernard stabs his dog and admits to doing it in late May. Judge Scarpellino had this letter in his possession on June 9th . Bernard clips his monitor anklet and is jailed on $10,000 bond on June 27th because of it but the reason for the bond and the jailing is not revealed until July 22nd.. On July 1st 2011, he was deemed competent by Judge Scarpellino’s court to understand his charges and aid in his defense. On July 12th, Bernard appears before Scarpellino and his Public Defender Thomas Conroy is not allowed to speak by the defendant, and Scarpellino reveals this super-light offer by the court of only 60 days, INCLUDING time served! Bernard gets a continuance to July 22nd to get a new lawyer since he say's he's fed up with Thomas Conroy. On July 22nd no mention is made of Bernard’s request for a new lawyer, Bernard says nothing, Conroy speaks on his behalf, but Scarpellino does 99% of the talking and it’s about this letter. He talks about politics and legislation, is clearly angry and should obviously recuse himself from the case, but clearly indicates he has NO intention of doing that. He orders a second competency ruling after only 21 days and no changes whatsoever in the facts in the case, except his revelation publicly of this letter for the first time, which he enters as “Exhibit A” in the case. He has had this letter now for 43 days and through a number of court appearances, yet says that day that he didn’t reveal it to ‘the attorneys’ until the morning of July 22nd , 43 days after he gets it, boasting loudly about his own "transparency" as a judge  and demonstrates his rage at this letter from the bench in front of many witnesses and a court reporter. Conroy remains as Public Defender and the case is continued until after Scarpellino returns from his lengthy vacation on August 29th (3 days beyond the August 26th date that Bernard would have been released had he accepted the offer of 60 days’ time served at the July 12th appearance). If deemed incompetent to stand trial after being deemed competent on July 1st (and strangely, the prosecutor raised NO objection to a second competency determination in 21 days)—it is VERY likely that Mr. Bernard will have no criminal record from this case, which appears to be his objective, NOT minimizing his offered very short jail time at this point.
Connecticut Chief Court Administrator Judge Barbara Quinn might just as well put a moat around her
State Supreme Court Office in Hartford since she's totally inaccessible and intentionally so.

I’ve tried to contact the boss of the Superior Court Judges, Chief Court Administrator Barbara M. Quinn, and sought an interview about cameras and tape recorders in the courtroom but was denied. Outside of the Hartford District cameras and tape equipment by media is only allowed at present for jury trials and arraignments. Judge Quinn has a palace guard around her protecting her from the general public, including at least two P.R. people and a secretary who refuses to put her in contact with anyone from the general public or media even if specifics of individual cases are left off the agenda. I attempted to speak with Thomas Conroy the Public Defender, his response conveyed by a proxy was that he’s “not interested in talking to any reporters.”

I attempted to speak with the Assistant State’s Attorney James Turcotte, in charge of the Meriden office, about this and especially about an incident on July 25th wherein I visited the office and one of his underling prosecuting attorneys blew the cover of two undercover cops working a case in real time. His palace guard was rude, bossy, and obnoxious and out of control and would not identify themselves while demanding that I do so and do so in full! I was meeting with a church deacon following a death in my family last Thursday, when my cell phone rang. I was keeping the cell phone on in case of family need. The person on the other end said “This is Jim.” I replied, “I’m sorry, Jim who?” The reply was: “Jim.” I reiterated, “Excuse me, I’m sorry, but Jim who??” He said “Jim from Meriden court.” I did not know that James Turcotte went by the nickname “Jim” but I pieced it together and asked “Is this James Turcotte, the State’s Attorney?” He went on about how he didn’t want to identify himself fully. I indicated to Mr. Turcotte that I was busy and Public Servant James “Jim” Turcotte said “Oh how does it feel to be busy and not have time to talk?” I asked Mr. Turcotte if we could speak the next day perhaps or next week and his reply was “No, I’m too busy.” The entire point of Turcotte’s call was obviously to intimidate me and anger me needlessly while I was ironically in mourning, and seeking the counsel of a nice church elder and deacon who is a witness to this call.


The Cowardly Lion, Assistant State's Attorney James "Jim" Turcotte (second from left), Admitted
Defenseless Dog Stabber Alexander Bernard. Judge Philip Scarpellino's photo was unavailable anywhere.
Couldn't even find out what law school he went to at the Judiciary's website. You can get full bios
on all the other judges. Hmmm.  Go figure.

The Meriden courthouse is out of control and the courts in general are out of control, from the Roberts party-line 5 to 4 U.S. Supreme Court, all the way down to the local shops, like this Meriden Superior Court circus.


I spoke last evening with Diana Urban, and praised her for her efforts. She indicated to me that she could easily have garnered 80 bipartisan signatures to this letter. These are constitutional rights—expressing views on a case—and Diana has stepped out to speak out on a case and an issue in this state that matters. I genuinely look forward to a formal interview with Representative Urban in the coming week, although pressing family matters of hers and my own have been a priority in recent days. The legislature legislates and the courts enforce, they do not ignore legislation. This is a felony case, and yet Bernard’s been charged with a misdemeanor. Her letter was signed by Republicans AND Democrats and I laud them all! Congratulations to all the signers of this letter. Judge Phillip A. Scarpellino’s behavior in this case is suspect. He actually said from the bench on July 12th that he’s “not worried about the legislature reappointing me” because appointments are for 8 year terms and he was just reappointed last year! OMG!


Judge Barbara Quinn needs to review Judge Scarpellino’s comportment and activities surrounding this case. I call for the Judiciary Committee of the State Legislature to investigate Judge Scarpellino, this case and the Meriden Court and this case with a fine toothed comb. I call for Justice for Princess, and for a maximum sentence under law for admitted dog-stabber Alexander Bernard. Judge Scarpellino must be removed from this case before the next scheduled appearance on August 29th , he is clearly biased and not able to adjudicate this case without prejudice, given his own inappropriate conduct—particularly in failing to reveal the contents of this letter to anyone, the public, the defendant or the prosecutor until way down the road and many appearances and actions.


I ask you to please take a look at the slideshow accompanying this article, which shows a visit to Princess on July 22nd by two animal rights activists who have attended Mr. Bernard’s court appearances and actively act on behalf of their beliefs in the rights of critters and myself at the North Haven Animal Hospital under the direction of Veterinarian extraordinaire James Wells, and his loving staff who have nurtured Princess back nearly to full health physically, though emotional scars remain from her trauma and the betrayal of her owner, Alexander P. Bernard. These photos will be provided to the officials involved in the case as well, including Judge Scarpellino, Thomas Conroy, and James “Jim” Turcotte. And I will also forward copies of photos excluding individuals, those showing the hurt he’s inflicted, to Mr. Bernard himself if allowed by the Correctional Center at Whalley Avenue. I would propose that in addition to "Exhibit A" introduced angrily by Judge Scarpellino, that these photographs of the wounded Pup Princess be introduced as "Exhibit B" in the strange case of Philip Scarpellino, Alexander Bernard, the Meriden Superior Court, and the bizarre state of the Judiciary in our state and nation. I recommend a donation and/or membership to, and paws toya: