A New Haven man accused of causing the death of a Middletown police officer during a high-speed chase wants his trial heard in another city.
Bryant Browne cannot get a fair trial in Middletown because public highway memorials to Sgt. George Dingwall will prejudice the jury pool, said his lawyer, Norm Pattis.
“Mr. Browne requests that his trial be moved to a venue where self-conscious efforts have not been made to manipulate public sentiment prior to any evidentiary hearing,” Pattis said in documents filed in Superior Court.
Dingwall was killed in January 2000 in a car crash while pursuing a suspect down Route 9. His cruiser had been following a car, allegedly driven by Browne, which had been sought in a burglary.
A section of Interstate 91 in Middletown has been named the “George Ross Dingwall Memorial Highway.” A portion of a city street, a block from Superior Court, has been named “Dingwall Drive,” in memory of the 19-year police veteran.
Potential jurors would likely pass these memorials on their way to court, Pattis said.
Browne, 38, is charged with felony murder, manslaughter, assault, engaging in a pursuit and other charges.
Middlesex State’s Attorney Timothy Liston would not comment on Pattis’ motions. Arguments were scheduled for Wednesday.