East Haven Police: 21-Year-Old Charged with First-Degree Manslaughter in Fatal Stabbing

A candlelight vigil has been planned tonight on the town green to honor Michael Lieto, the 21-year-old former East Haven resident who died as a result of injuries sustained during Tuesday's altercation.

A 21-year-old man has been arrested and charged with first-degree manslaugher following the fatal stabbing of a former East Haven resident during a fight along Maplevale Road on Tuesday afternoon.

According to East Haven Police Sgt. David Emerman, at 2:15 p.m the department received numerous 911 calls reporting a fight among several males in the area of 20 Maplevale Road.

Initial investigation revealed that three brothers — all former East Haven residents who now reside in Wallingford — were assaulted by two other males.

All Three Lieto Brothers Injured

Emerman reports that Michael Lieto, 21, received at least one stab wound and Robert Lieto, 27, was also injured. 

Both were transported to Yale New Haven Hospital. 

The third brother Dion Lieto, 25, was "assaulted with an unknown blunt object, but was able to assist and is cooperating with police investigators."

Homicide Investigation

Emerman stated that at about 4:16 p.m. on Tuesday, the department was notified by Yale-New Haven Hospital that Michael Lieto had died as a result of injuries sustained from the assault.

Robert Lieto was treated for his injuries and released from the hospital.

The Connecticut State Police Major Crimes Squad is assisting with this homicide investigation.

Initial investigation indicates that the dispute took place over a stolen item.

First-Degree Manslaughter

A short time after the incident, the East Haven Police Department arrested Aaron Powell, 21, and a 17-year-old juvenile male.

Powell is charged with first-degree manslaughter, first-degree assault, first-degree reckless endangerment, carrying a dangerous weapon, and second-degree breach of peace.

Powell was held on a $1 million bond and will be arraigned in New Haven court Wednesday.

Sgt Emerman told East Haven Patch that while the most recent listed addresses for Powell are in New Haven, police investigators believe he was staying at a residence near where the incident occurred on Tuesday.

Candlelight Vigil Wednesday Night

A candlelight vigil has been planned from 6-7 p.m. Wednesday on the East Haven Town Green to honor Michael Lieto, according to reports on Facebook and Twitter.


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Julie Weisberg (Editor) November 14, 2012 at 05:18 PM
QUICK UPDATE: Sgt Emerman just told me that while the most recent listed addresses for Powell are in New Haven, police investigators believe he was staying at a residence near where the incident occurred on Tuesday. I've added this to the story as well.
Jonny "The Bull" Ratso November 14, 2012 at 05:33 PM
At 2 in the afternoon in a residential area and no one immediately called the cops when they saw a group of punks gathering; only after the fight had broken out. From what I heard it happened in front a woman’s house that runs a daycare!!!
Lee November 14, 2012 at 05:39 PM
Julie I'm confused. There are reports that say Bobby was treated and released from the hospital and there are reports that he is still there in critical condition. Any way you can find out what the truth is? Thank you. This is such a terrible tragedy.
LSS November 14, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Wheres the mugshot?
Jonny "The Bull" Ratso November 14, 2012 at 05:45 PM
"Bobby" is very familiar to the EHPD.
Lou November 14, 2012 at 06:25 PM
What about the black homeless guy? Did they pick him up?
Julie Weisberg (Editor) November 14, 2012 at 07:52 PM
Linda: The information for my post was taken directly from the East Haven Police Department and Sgt Emerman. So, I would imagine it's accurate. However, I have followed up just to confirm that Robert is no longer in the hospital As soon as I hear back, I'll let you know.
Julie Weisberg (Editor) November 14, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Linda: Robert is out of the hospital. The NHR's Jennifer Swift just posted her story about today's arraignment of the suspect Aaron Powell. You can read that report here: http://nhregister.com/articles/2012/11/14/news/metro/doc50a3f42ad78ef159009203.txt?viewmode=fullstory
Lee November 14, 2012 at 08:38 PM
Thank you for the clarification and the link to the article.
Julie Weisberg (Editor) November 14, 2012 at 09:40 PM
Linda: You're welcome. I may not be able to do all of the original reporting regarding important news in town. But I'll always do my best to share other news or information that I do come across with readers. Just as readers do the same here on the site every day.
Lance Coughlin November 14, 2012 at 11:28 PM
Any comments from the NAACP?
Lance Coughlin November 14, 2012 at 11:34 PM
I might also add that had Len gallo not driven a core group of excellent cops off the force to make room for his political favorites and yes men this probably wouldn't have happened. Back in the day criminals were afraid to come to east haven . Now, thanks to gallo, it's become pretty ghetto.
Jonny "The Bull" Ratso November 14, 2012 at 11:44 PM
Absolutely true Lance. Back in the day those hoodies and pajama bottoms "paying respects" right now on the Green would have had IDs checked for outstanding warrants.
Michelle Petroccio November 15, 2012 at 12:36 AM
Everyone really needs to have respect for the Lieto family Lance and Mr Ratso.
Kim wilk November 15, 2012 at 12:42 AM
Please lets not make this a political battle, send your energy to the Mother who now has to bury her 21 year old son and heal two more. Pray for her and her bos who are left to deal with this. There is nothing worst then a mother having to bury her son
Rosie November 15, 2012 at 02:17 AM
Really, negative comments have no place here. Lives have been shattered senselessly. Let's make this a place for well wishes and condolences to the family, period. Have a little class and common sense.
Lauren Toothe November 15, 2012 at 03:23 AM
I have to partially agree with Lance and Ratso here. Mr.Powell wasn't even an East Haven resident, yet this wasn't his first stabbing in our hometown. Our town has been on a rapid decline lately but I don't fault the police at all. Lets take a look at taco joe before we hop down the throats of men who are investigating and working their behinds off to protect the family of the victim as well as make sure the killer stats behind bars. Maybe if our little wellness ambassador mayor wasn't so set on trying to be politically correct after his little taco fiasco, we wouldn't have to be worrying about people from neighboring towns feeling welcome enough to come here and commit murder. But as Kim said, this is not a political debate. This is about a family who lost the life of a great kid. And don't anybody DARE have the audacity to belittle the police department. I was at the candlelight vigil at the scene of the crime, and despite getting called worthless, that cop stayed at his post and made sure we were all protected. Ignorant comments people, ignorant. Let the police do their jobs without your interference and unnecessary attempts at digs.
Lise Cavallaro November 15, 2012 at 01:13 PM
i agree Rosie. Class and common sense really are lacking lately. I did not know this family. However, just hearing what happened, and that a senseless crime could happen in our town is truly heartbreaking. I send my deepest sympathies to the family.
Richard Poulton November 15, 2012 at 02:21 PM
Since this happened many of my friends have asked the same question. Why wasn't Powell changed with murber? You would think that would be the case. There are slight but meaningfull differences between what is required for murder compared to manslaughter. Circumstances that led up to a death will dictate the charge. Referred to as elements within statute, suttle, but are different.
Kristy Turcio Porter November 15, 2012 at 02:54 PM
Richard, the charges could be upgraded to murder after the investigation is complete.
Free_Speech November 15, 2012 at 11:15 PM
Lauren, the EHPD is now under federal control because of corruption. Has this reality escaped you? Folks have a right to speak freely in the United States. If free speech bothers you, move to Iraq, take up the burqa, but don't tread on my civil rights.
Free_Speech November 15, 2012 at 11:17 PM
Why did the police take so long to get to the crime scene? Perhaps if they had arrived earlier that kid would be alive today.
Mark l Rubinstein November 16, 2012 at 01:40 AM
They should build a wall around east haven. And leave you all to your own devices.
t benivegna November 16, 2012 at 01:56 AM
I agree East Haven is becoming a ghetto town. It is not Gallo's fault, it is due to the politics in the town and the residents. It is disgraceful. It needs to stop. We need to save East Haven before it's to late.
Jeff November 16, 2012 at 06:47 PM
On another subject : Anyone know what happened Wednesday night around 9:30-PM Short Beach Rd and Talmadge / Pinto ??? Cops all over the place with dogs , walking through yards until midnight , Branford there too !
Nonna Mouse November 17, 2012 at 02:59 AM
Just to be clear, you don't want to make it a political debate until after you've made your political statement..? And it's amazing how you managed to connect a murder to our mayor and his taco troubles. Your logic is dizzying! Now, THAT's the kind of talent needed on the EHPD! That being said, my heart breaks for the mother who lost her son and for the young life cut short. I wish them peace at this time of sorrow.
John be gone November 19, 2012 at 02:32 PM
MsToothe, lets not forget he walked into that brickwall when he took over , it's not usually a conservative who invites Leaches its the Safe haven De Stefanos who invite government entitled selfies ummm I think you might wanna thank him for tht we are a bordering town of that Safe Haven Duhhh
mark maio November 26, 2012 at 05:54 PM
When i was a kid and grew up in this neighbor hood this shit would of never happed Mark Maio sr.


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