Burlington man pleads no contest to conspiracy in killing of Southington cult leader

Burlington man pleads no contest to conspiracy in killing of Southington cult leader

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A Burlington man pleaded no contest to conspiracy charges and a second man is awaiting trial in connection with the 2004 killing of a cult leader from Southington.

Sorek Minery, 44, of 225 Covey Road, Burlington, was charged in 2018 with murder and felony murder in the case. Minery recently pleaded no contest to conspiracy to commit murder. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 26, 2021.  

Rudy Hannon, 74, was also charged with murder and felony murder. He previously pleaded not guilty to the charges. According to the state judicial website, Hannon’s case is on the trial list to be scheduled. 

Paul Sweetman of Southington was “the chief apostle” in the religious cult “The Work,” led by Brother Julius and based in Meriden. 

He was reported missing by his wife on July 24, 2004, according to Hannon’s arrest warrant. On Aug. 27, 2004 New Britain police responded to the Shuttle Meadow Country Club for a report of human remains found. 

On April 20, 2016, New Britain police linked the 2004 missing person report to the remains found at the golf course, noting that Sweetman lived about 10 miles away from where a human leg was found. Local police learned that the FBI had previously developed information that Sweetman was killed and dismembered in New Britain.

Police also learned that in 2006 Hannon was interviewed by FBI agents and shared intimate knowledge of the killing. Police interviewed Minery on Oct. 20, 2016. He told officers that he, Sweetman and Hannon were all members of the same religious organization. In the months leading up to the homicide, Hannon was trying to convince Minery that Sweetman “needed to be killed because he was hurting his wife.”

Hannon and Minery remain held on $2 million bond. 

lsellew@record-journal.com203-317-2225Twitter: @LaurenSellewRJ

Read the Rudy Hannon arrest warrant.
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