Danny’s Way killing is on jury list for September

WALLINGFORD — A Meriden man charged with killing his girlfriend at her Danny’s Way home in 2011 has his case on the jury list for September at New Haven Superior Court.

Luis Roman, 43, of 140 S. Colony St., Meriden, was arrested on July 27, 2011, and has been held on a $1.5 million bond since. Roman, who is represented by attorney Walter Bansley, was due to appear in New Haven Superior Court on Tuesday, but Judge Patrick Clifford continued his case until Sept. 3 without Roman making an appearance.

According to court documents, on July 16, 2011, police were called to do a well-being check on Susan Mazzarella at 19 Danny’s Way. Police arrived and found the front door locked, but a window broken. Inside, they found the decomposing body of a woman, later identified as Mazzarella. The medical examiner ruled the death homicide by strangulation.

Mazzarella had been the victim of two domestic violence cases involving Roman, the warrant said. Both happened in June 2010 10 days apart, the warrant said. In the first incident, Roman hit Mazzarella in the face multiple times; in the second, Roman hit and threatened to kill Mazzarella, the warrant said. Roman was convicted on various domestic violence charges and was sentenced to five years in prison, suspended after one year. He was released on June 20, 2011.

After finding Mazzarella’s body, police named Roman as a person of interest after speaking to witnesses who said they saw Mazzarella and Roman together on July 8, 2011, the warrant said. A source told police Roman was in Florida but would be returning to Connecticut by bus, the warrant said. Roman’s probation officer filed for an arrest warrant for violation of probation, and Roman was arrested at the bus station in New Haven when he arrived, the warrant said.

Roman confessed to murdering Mazzarella during an interview with police, the warrant said. Roman told officers he and Mazzarella had gotten into an argument during which she threatened to tell police Roman was harassing her and that he would go back to jail, the warrant said. Roman said he “hit her hard” and she fell to the floor, the warrant said. Roman said he dragged her to the bedroom. He said she was “struggling to breathe” so he placed a towel over her face because he “figured that she was going to die,” the warrant said. When asked by police, Roman admitted to grabbing her neck, the warrant said.

Roman said he was “too scared” to call 911 and went downstairs to sleep on the couch until the next day, the warrant said.

Police filed for the arrest warrant based on the information Roman told them, which officers said only someone who was at the crime scene could have known, the warrant said.

According to court documents, Roman was evaluated and found competent to stand trial on Oct. 20, 2011. Also noted on Roman’s file is an instruction about medication for bipolar disorder.

On June 19, 2012, an offer of a plea deal was rejected and withdrawn, according to court documents. No details about the offer were available.

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