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Remaining defendants getting plea offers in Chew murder case

By Karen Florin

Publication: theday.com

Published 06/08/2012 12:00 AM
Updated 06/08/2012 11:39 PM
State offers less prison time to those who cooperated

The state has started making plea offers to the five remaining defendants in the Matthew Chew murder case based on whether they cooperated with the investigation.

Chew, 25, was fatally stabbed Oct. 29, 2010, as he walked home from his restaurant job on Huntington Street in New London.

Six local teens were arrested a month later. The lead aggressor, 19-year-old Idris Elahi, pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced last month to 35 years in prison.

The remaining defendants are Tyree Bundy, Matias Perry and Rahshad Perry, who are 19, Marquis Singleton, who is 18, and Brian Rabell, who is 20.

Prosecutor Stephen M. Carney and Victim Advocate Beth Ann Hess discussed the cases of the remaining defendants with Chew's parents, Marilyn and Rick Chew, when they traveled here from California for Elahi's sentencing. Carney then started making offers to the teens based on whether they cooperated with the investigation and testified at a probable cause hearing in the case.

The teens, who are charged with accessory and conspiracy to commit murder, are getting the option of pleading guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a reduced prison sentence or going to trial on the murder charges, which carry a sentence of up to 60 years in prison. The plea deals for those who cooperated will include shorter prison sentences.

The proposed sentences have not been made public since offers have not been made to all of the defendants.

Bundy, Rabell and Singleton testified at the February 2011 hearing before Judge Patrick J. Clifford. They told the court they had been hanging around watching television that night when they decided to go out and jump someone. They said Rahshad Perry dared Elahi to stab someone.

According to their testimony, the group headed downtown in search of a victim. They ran into a teacher from New London High School, who told them to "stay out of trouble." They targeted one man as their victim but gave up on him when he climbed into a car.

Then they saw Chew walking alone on Huntington Street. The Ledyard native, who was active in the city's art and music scenes, had clocked out from his cook job at 2Wives Brick Oven Pizza a short time earlier. He lived less than a tenth of a mile away, at 73 Washington St.

During the attack, Chew attempted to break loose and run and asked, "Why is this happening?" according to the teens' testimony.

Chew was lying on the ground, bleeding, when a passerby saw him and called 911. He died the next morning of multiple stab wounds.

All of the teens have remained in prison while their cases are pending. Singleton appeared Friday in court, where he was told about the offer the state will be making to resolve his case.

"The two people who did not testify, quite frankly, their numbers are going to be higher," the judge told Singleton.

Matias Perry and Rahshad Perry, who are not related, did not testify at the probable cause hearing.

k.florin@theday.com

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