The court dates for the four Yale students and one Harvard graduate charged with crimes during the Oct. 2 raid on Morse-Stiles Screw have been rescheduled for December.
Although the court date had already been rescheduled twice before and was set for Tuesday afternoon, Hugh Keefe, the lawyer for four of the young men, said that his clients’ date has been set to Dec. 8 and that the other student — the only one charged with a felony — had his date moved to Dec. 7.
Keefe said the cases were continued for further investigation, the same reasoning given on Oct. 26 when the court appearances were rescheduled for the second time.
David Strollo, the prosecutor working on the case, said that this many continuances for a court date is standard practice for a criminal matter. He added that he was not able to provide any more information because the case was not called before the court Tuesday, but rather received an administrative continuance, so nothing about the cause of the delay was legally on the record.
Strollo said that although he was not able to comment on this particular case, the most common reason for a court date to be rescheduled is that both sides need more time to collect information.
In an Oct. 26 interview, Keefe said the prosecution was the party that required more time for investigation. After the third postponement, Keefe said he was not surprised, and that it is “routine” for a case to go through four different court dates.
According to the state judicial docket, one student is charged with one count of interfering with a police officer, another is charged with one count of disorderly conduct and two more are each charged with one count of disorderly conduct and one count of criminal trespass in the third degree. The fifth student is charged with three felony counts of assault against an officer.
The raid on Morse-Stiles Screw was part of Mayor John DeStefano Jr.’s “Operation Nightlife,” which was initiated to reduce violence in downtown New Haven. In the past week, the initiative shifted focus from bars and clubs to package stores.