Four young men and women, who authorities say suffer from profound psychiatric problems, pleaded guilty Wednesday in Superior Court in Hartford to working together to kill a teenage runaway and stuff her body into a cardboard box after an argument during a monopoly game.
Because of their mental illnesses, the state reduced the original murder charges to manslaughter. According to a plea agreement, Michael Davis and Darzell Weinstein will receive sentences of 25 years, suspended after 18 years, and five years of probation.
Tiara Dixon and Leslie Caraballo are expected to receive 20-year sentences, suspended after 12 years in prison, and five years of probation.
On the evening of April 26, 2007, Davis, 22, Weinstein, 19, Dixon, 19, and Caraballo, 19, were playing the board game when Caraballo became jealous because she thought Davis, her boyfriend, was paying too much attention to 18-year-old Alexandria Clouse-Desmond.
A fight ensued and police say that Dixon and Caraballo kicked and beat up Clouse-Desmond. Then, they held her down in Davis' apartment on Laurel Street while he and Weinstein placed a plastic bag over her head, police said. Davis tried choking the life out of the teenager, police said. When she did not die, Weinstein jumped on her chest, police said.
A day later, Hartford police found the severely beaten body of Clouse-Desmond in a microwave oven box in a closet in Davis' apartment. Clouse-Desmond died of asphyxiation, the chief state medical examiner said.