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State’s attorney takes unusual step in Samuolis case

By JOHN PENNEY

Norwich Bulletin

DANIELSON — The Windham County State’s Attorney’s Office is taking the unusual step of issuing a subpoena to its own mental health expert in an effort to jump start the stalled case against an accused Willimantic killer and corpse-hoarder.

State’s Attorney Anne Mahoney recently requested, and was granted, permission to issue a subpoena to Dr. Catherine Lewis, a psychiatrist who was tasked more than 18 months ago to produce a mental health evaluation on 37-year-old Andrew Samuolis, who is charged with murdering his father with a modified flare gun in 2013 and stashing the corpse in a bedroom for months.

Mahoney said she has been unsuccessful in reaching Lewis to determine whether a state-requested exam of Samuolis’ competency is complete.

“If she sends the report before Dec. 15, then there is no need for her to appear in court,” Mahoney said. “But I’ve tried every way I can to contact her.”

In granting the subpoena motion, Danielson Superior Court Judge Jack Fischer said he was prepared to act even if the state did not request the action.

“I was planning to order a hearing on this anyway,” he said. “We need to get to the bottom of this.”

Prosecutors requested the evaluation more than a year ago after experts hired by Samuolis’ previous defense team found the Willimantic man lacked substantial capacity, as a result of a mental disease, to “appreciate the wrongfulness of, or control, his conduct,” at the time of the crime, said attorney William Paetzold, who is pursuing an insanity defense for his client.

“The contents of the state’s exam will determine how the case moves forward,” he said. “If their report supports ours, we can get Andrew the treatment he needs and is not necessarily getting in jail. If their report disagrees with ours, the case goes to trial.”

Samuolis has been jailed since June 2013 when police were dispatched to 31 Tunxis Lane to conduct a well-being check of Samuolis’ father, John Samuolis, who had not been seen for weeks.

On arrival, they observed a “large amount of black flies” coming from the home’s windows.

When police entered the home, they said Samuolis ambushed officers, shooting and wounding one.

Samuolis fled the scene, which led to a massive manhunt in the neighborhood before he was captured.

Police said Samuolis later confessed to shooting his father to death in February 2013 and to living with the decomposing body for five months.

According to a warrant, Samuolis said his father planned to sell the family home against his son’s wishes.

Samuolis told police he walked up behind his father and “shot him in the head with (a) flare gun modified to shoot a .410-gauge shell.” Samuolis said his father remained alive for “about a day” before dying.

Samuolis is charged with murder, breach of peace, threatening, illegal discharge of a firearm, first-degree assault, assault on a public safety officer and five counts each of attempt to commit first-degree assault and attempt to commit assault on a public safety officer.

He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Samuolis has been held at the Garner Correctional Institution in Newtown on a $990,000 bond since his arrest.

He is due back in court Dec. 15, the same day Lewis is due to appear.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency.

 

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