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Transport mix-up delays jury selection in murder trial of Meriden man

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NEW BRITAIN — Jury selection in the trial of a Meriden man accused of fatally shooting a New Britain teenager had to be postponed Monday due to a transportation error.

Jonathan Gibbs, 26, has pleaded not guilty to the sole count of murder in the killing of Issaac Smith, 18, of New Britain.

Jury selection was supposed to begin Monday, but Gibbs was not brought to New Britain Superior Court from Northern Correctional Institute in Somers. Gibbs has been held in lieu of $3 million bail since his arrest June 17, 2013.

Judge Frank D’Addabbo said jury selection will instead take place today. Attorney Norm Pattis, who represents Gibbs, said he expects the selection process to take six to 10 days. The trial is not due to start until mid-July.

On June 16, 2013, police found Issaac Smith, 18, of New Britain, lying on Kelsey Street with a gunshot wound to the back of his head. Gibbs was identified as a suspect and police took him into custody at his Meriden home.

Gibbs told police he was selling a $400 pair of sneakers on Facebook, and had arranged to meet with a prospective buyer in New Britain at midnight on June 16, the police report said. Gibbs said Smith approached him, grabbed the sneakers implying he had a gun and ran away, the report said. Gibbs said he grabbed a handgun from the back of his truck and fired a shot “in the direction of Smith,” the police report said.

Pattis said at a hearing in August that Gibbs was taking the blame for a family member and had lied to the police.



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