Wilfrido A. Cardenas Hoffman, 31, of El Hatillo, Venezuela waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty on December 11 in federal court to making threatening phone calls to residents of Newtown shortly after December 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. According to court documents and statements which were made in court, on December 16, 2012, two days after the shootings that claimed 26 lives at the school, Hoffman used a voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) computer application on an iPod to make numerous phone calls from his home in Venezuela to Newtown residences. The charge of making threatening telephone calls carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years and a fine of up to $250,000.
Court documents indicate that the parents of several of the children killed on 12/14 intend to file wrongful death lawsuits. Probate court records show that parents of 11 of the 20 first graders killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School have created estates for their children, which would be required to file lawsuits on their behalf. The documents do not say who they intend to sue. A court clerk says most of the parents checked a box on the forms saying they intend to file wrongful death actions.
Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy are giving fellow senators pins that show how many people in their state have been killed by guns since Adam Lanza shot 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School nearly two years ago. Gilles Rousseau of Newtown, whose daughter Lauren was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in 2012, speaks at a press conference in the U.S. Capitol Wednesday supporting gun control legislation. His wife Joyce is beside him. On Wednesday, the senators and other Connecticut lawmakers joined Newtown families and victims of gun violence across the nation in renewing their calls for new federal gun laws at a press conference in the U.S. Capitol.
Foundry Kitchen & Tavern, at 1 Glen Road, has designated the restaurant as a drop off location for both nonperishable food items and new or used coats and jackets to help families in need this holiday season. Donations are welcomed through January 4. Nonperishable food items will be donated to FAITH Food Pantry, while winter coats and jackets for men, women and children will be given to local families in need.
Sandy Hook Promise will premiere a new documentary tonight at the Helen Mills Theater in New York City. The documentary is part of a comprehensive educational effort designed to help parents protect children from becoming future victims of gun violence. The documentary, "What They Left Behind," chronicles stories of gun violence and aims to shed light on the underlying issues that allow these tragedies to take place. Through these stories, Sandy Hook Promise introduces a new approach that engages and empowers Americans in the prevention of gun violence in our country.
On Saturday, December 6, the town conducted the first of two public forums on the advisability of allowing rental apartments by special zoning permit at the Fairfield Hills campus. About 50 people attended the December 6 session, at least one-quarter of whom were members of town agencies, including the Planning & Zoning Commission (P&Z), Fairfield Hills Authority, Economic Development Commission, Legislative Council, and Board of Selectmen. Judging by comments made during the session, the public is skeptical and unconvinced that allowing rental apartments at Fairfield Hills is a good idea. A second forum on the controversial topic is slated for 7 pm on Thursday, December 11, also at Reed Intermediate School.
In light of the upcoming 12/14 anniversary, The Newtown Recovery and Resiliency Center and its staff will be available for support and resources to anyone in the community, according to agency spokesperson Melissa Glaser. The team is fully staffed with clinical and support professionals who are able to address any concerns or needs that may arise during this difficult time. In addition, a number of other special programs and resources will be available for community members during the weekend of the 12/14 anniversary at area agencies and houses of worship.
Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn) joined members of Newtown Action Alliance (NAA) and others on Monday, December 8, at the YWCA in New Britain, to launch #HonorWithAction week. Rep Esty and Senator Blumenthal encouraged Connecticut residents to take part in service within their own communities this week, to honor the memory of the victims of 12/14, with acts of kindness. Following a press conference, the group participated in classroom activities with children at the YWCA in New Britain.