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Richard Crafts Moved To Homeless Shelter For Veterans

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Richard Crafts, the former Newtown resident who has served a lengthy prison sentence for the November 1986 murder of his wife Helle, on January 29 was moved from the Isaiah House halfway house in Bridgeport to a homeless shelter for veterans, which is also in Bridgeport, as part of Crafts's ongoing transition from prison life to a full release from custody.

State Department of Correction (DOC) spokesman Andrius Banevicius said January 30 that in his current placement, Crafts will be supervised by a Bridgeport-based parole officer. Crafts, 82, had been staying at Isaiah House for the past three months, after having served time in state prisons since January 13, 1987.

In November 1989, Crafts was found guilty of murder following a second jury trial and was then sentenced to a 50-year prison term. An initial trial resulted in a hung jury.

The laws which were in effect at that time allowed a prisoner to serve significantly less prison time than their sentence, provided the prisoner exhibited good behavior while incarcerated, Mr Banevicius explained.

Thus, Crafts's maximum release date as listed by the DOC is August 1, 2020. It is expected that he will be fully released from DOC custody sometime in June, Mr Banevicius said.

The conditions of Crafts's current transitional release require that he exhibit good behavior, Mr Banevicius said. Crafts is believed to have some family, who live out of state, the DOC spokesman said.

The Helle Crafts murder case drew wide attention because it was the first successful murder prosecution in Connecticut in which a corpse had not been found. After murdering his wife, Crafts put her frozen remains through a wood chipper in seeking to destroy the evidence of her death. State investigators, however, found tiny pieces of her remains, which were used as evidence in the prosecution.

Read more here: Richard Crafts Transfered To Garner

and here: Notorious Crafts Murder Shook Newtown Ten Years Ago

In this January 1987 photo, Richard Crafts, center, who had been charged with his wife's murder, is escorted by law enforcement officers into Connecticut Superior Court in Danbury courthouse for a bond reduction hearing. —Bee file photo
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