June 16th, 2011 | Uncategorized

Man sentenced to death in New Haven court

A Bridgeport man was sentenced to death in a New Haven court on Wednesday.

Azibo Aquart, otherwise known as “Azibo Smith,” “Azibo Siwatu Jahi Smith,” “D,” “Dreddy” and “Jumbo,” was found guilty of murdering three people by a federal jury on May 23. Now, the same jury unanimously agreed to impose the death sentence on the defendant. The jury found that Aquart, who was the leader of a crack cocaine drug ring in Bridgeport, killed Tina Johnson, 43; James Reid, 40; and Basil Williams, 54 for drug-related reasons in August, 2005.

No date has been set for Aquart to be put to death, but average time spent on death row is over 10 years according to a study by the Connecticut Commission on the Death Penalty.

Only one person has been executed in Connecticut since 1960: Michael Ross in 2005. Yet despite this history, Aquart is now the second person to be sentenced to death in one year by a Connecticut court.

Steven Hayes, who was found to have killed three people during the Cheshire home invasion murders of 2007, was heralded by some state politicians as a reason to maintain the death penalty in Connecticut. He received six consecutive death sentences plus 106 years incarceration in October, 2010.

Aquart’s trial began on April 20, and was held before U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton.