The fifth defendant to enter a plea in the 2010 murder of a young man who was walking home from his job will serve eight years in prison.
Tyree Bundy, 20, entered a written no contest plea to first-degree manslaughter today in the New London Superior Court. Bundy was originally charged with accessory to murder. Under the state offer, Bundy will serve 16 years in prison, suspended after eight years, with five years of probation.
Bundy and five co-defendants were accused of participating in the attack on 25-year-old Matthew Chew on the evening of Oct. 29, 2010. Chew was stabbed six times while walking from 2 Wives Pizza, where he worked as a chef, to his apartment on Washington Street. He died early the next morning at Yale-New Haven Hospital.
According to a police affidavit and court testimony, the group met at defendant Idris Elahi’s house on the evening of Oct. 29 and decided to assault a random person after they got bored. Some defendants testified that Rashad Perry dared Elahi to stab someone and that they started to make an oath committing to the act before others broke it up.
According to the affidavit, Bundy and co-defendant Brian Rabell identified the five other men who participated in the attack. At Elahi’s probable cause hearing, Rabell and co-defendant Marquis Singleton said Rabell and Bundy were the ones who tried to stop the oath. Bundy said Elahi handed him a knife after the group attacked Chew.
Senior State’s Attorney Stephen Carney said the state’s rationale for each offer will be explained at the sentencings. He said Chew’s family has been informed of the resolution of each case.
“Though I cannot say they endorse this recommendation, they are aware of it and they understand the reasoning for it,” Carney said at Bundy’s plea.
Defense attorney Sebastian Desantis asked that Bundy be allowed to hug his mother, who was present in the courtroom, today rather than at his sentencing since the latter was likely to be an emotional proceeding. Judge Susan B. Handy granted the request and said she would not have allowed it at the later date.
“You know why I’m not going to allow it at sentencing? Because the Chew family will be here and they won’t be able to hug their son,” she said.
Elahi, 19, was the first defendant to have his case resolved, entering an Alford plea to murder on Feb. 22. On May 23, he was sentenced to serve 35 years in prison.
Like Bundy, the other three defendants have all pleaded to the reduced charge of first-degree manslaughter after they were initially charged with accessory to murder. Rabell, 20, received the same sentence as Bundy on Dec. 12. Matias Perry and Rashad Perry—both 19 and unrelated—received sentences of 20 years, suspended after 15 years, with five years of probation after entering pleas on Nov. 29 and Dec. 10, respectively. Neither man cooperated with police during their investigation into Chew’s murder.
The final defendant in the case, 19-year-old Marquis Singleton, is scheduled to appear in court on Friday. Handy says she expects that Singleton, who is charged with murder, will enter a plea on that date.
Bundy’s sentencing date was set for Feb. 28. However, Handy said the sentencing dates are subject to change. She said the court is working to line up the sentencings so Chew’s parents, who live in California, do not have to make multiple trips.
Handy said a defendant’s plea deal may be rejected based on the findings of a pre-sentencing report or their conduct prior to the sentencing. Each defendant has been imprisoned since their arrests on Nov. 30, 2010, and will receive credit for time served.