A 20-year-old man entered a plea related to the 2010 murder of Matthew Chew today, becoming the fourth defendant to take an offer from the state.
Brian Rabell entered an Alford plea to first-degree manslaughter in the New London Superior Court. An Alford plea does not admit guilt but recognizes that prosecutors could win a conviction at trial. Rabell was initially charged with accessory to murder.
Under the plea agreement, Rabell will serve 16 years in prison, suspended after eight years, with five years of probation. His formal sentencing has been scheduled for Feb. 21.
Rabell was accused of involvement in the death of Chew, 25, who was stabbed six times as he was walking from 2 Wives Pizza to his apartment on the evening of Oct. 29, 2010. Chew died of his injuries early the next morning at Yale-New Haven Hospital.
According to a police affidavit, Rabell was one of two defendants in the case who identified the assailants in the incident. Rabell denied personal involvement in this initial interview. Rabell’s girlfriend told police that Rabell had been with her on the evening of Oct. 29, but later admitted that she had lied to protect him and that Rabell told her what to say to investigators. She said Rabell told her he had been with the five other defendants in the case and that Idris Elahi, now 19, was the one who stabbed Chew.
During Elahi’s probable cause hearing, Rabell said the group decided to attack a random person after becoming bored. He said Rashad Perry dared Elahi to stab someone and that the two started to make an oath committing to the action before Rabell and Tyree Bundy stopped them. At the hearing, Rabell admitted to taking part in the initial assault on Chew. He said he saw what he thought was Elahi punching Chew in the abdomen and was later told that Elahi had been stabbing Chew.
Elahi was sentenced to serve 35 years in prison on May 23 after entering an Alford plea to a murder charge. Matias Perry and Rashad Perry—both 19, unrelated, and initially charged with accessory to murder—each accepted offers to enter Alford pleas to first-degree manslaughter and serve 15 years of 20-year prison sentences with five years of probation. Matias pleaded on Nov. 29 while Rashad pleaded on Monday.
Bundy, 20, is charged with accessory to murder and will next appear in court on Dec. 19. Marquis Singleton, 19, is charged with murder and will appear in court on Dec. 21.
Matias’ sentencing has been scheduled for Feb. 7, while Rashad’s is scheduled for Feb. 19. The court may adjust the sentencing dates to accommodate Chew’s family, as his parents live in California.
All defendants in the case have been imprisoned since their arrests in late November of 2010.