A Connecticut police officer fired his gun at an unarmed couple’s car 13 times and injured a woman and another officer in 2019 and faces up to 18 months in prison and a felony sentence under an agreement with prosecutors. No contest on Thursday.
Hamden Officer Devin Eaton, 32, filed a written petition in New Haven Superior Court in connection with the shooting of the woman. He agreed to never again seek employment as a police officer in the United States.
He remains on unpaid administrative leave, with the city’s proposed firing still pending a legal challenge from the police union. The police union told Hamden officials on Thursday that Eaton is expected to resign by Friday afternoon, according to the mayor’s office.
Sentencing is set for April 8. Although Eaton agreed to remain in prison for 18 months, he would be allowed to plead with little or no time behind bars.
Eaton and his attorney Gregory Cerritelli declined to comment after leaving the courthouse.
The April 16, 2019 shooting in New Haven sparked many protests and calls for police officers to shoot Eaton, who told officers they believed the driver of the car had a gun. No weapons were found in the vehicle, and a prosecutor determined that the use of lethal force was not justified.
The driver, Paul Witherspoon III, was not injured, but his girlfriend, Stephanie Washington, who was 22 at the time, suffered serious injuries, including a fractured pelvis and spine. Washington sued Eaton in a federal lawsuit that is still pending.
Police said Eaton stopped the couple’s car in New Haven because it matched the description of the car linked to an alleged attempt at armed robbery in Hamden. A gas station clerk called in an attempted armed robbery, but later told police he had not seen the gun, and surveillance video shows Witherspoon arguing with another man, but not robbing him. Is.
Body camera video of Eaton shows Witherspoon getting out of the car and raising a hand when Eaton begins shooting. Witherspoon then quickly returns to the vehicle.
Terrence Pollock, an officer at Yale University, responded to a traffic stop and fired his gun at the car three times. But New Haven State Attorney Patrick Griffin said in his investigation report into the shooting that Pollock was justified because he believed Eaton and Witherspoon were exchanging bullets.
Officials said Pollock suffered serious injuries from a bullet fired by Eaton.