Sergio Correa was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for the three hours of terror and torture he unleashed on a family in Griswold just before Christmas in 2017.
Judge Hunchu Kwak, who presided over Correa’s weeks-long trial late last year, sentenced him Tuesday morning for brutally murdering Kenneth, Janet and Matthew Lindquist, stealing cash, a car and Christmas presents from the family and setting their house — a dream home built by hand — aflame.
His sentences included life without the possibility of parole on murder with special circumstances, 20 years each for two counts of second-degree arson, 20 years each for two counts of robbery in the first degree and 25 years to serve, 10 years mandatory minimum for home invasion, all to run consecutively.
The verdict was delivered after a series of emotional victim-impact statements by family and friends of the Lindquists, who sat through every day of the trial, hearing the harsh details of how their loved ones died.
Matthew Lindquist, 21, was hacked by a machete and left to die in the woods. Janet Lindquist was sexually taunted, strangled by a shoelace with Sergio Correa’s foot to her back and left to die in the burning house, and Kenneth Lindquist’s skull was shattered by a baseball bat.
Sergio Correa carried out the deadly crime spree with his adopted younger sister, Ruth Correa, who will be sentenced Tuesday afternoon.
Sergio Correa, a 30-year-old convicted felon from Hartford, was found guilty on more than a dozen charges in December after a jury sat through weeks of evidence.
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Jurors, who deliberated for two days before handing down the guilty verdicts, saw photos of Matthew Lindquist remains that were found in the woods by a man who was walking his dog. They were shown pictures of Kenneth and Janet Lindquist, burnt in their home. They heard from a neighbor who woke that morning to see a burst of orange flames across the street and were read a flurry of frantic texts exchanged between Sergio Correa and Matthew Lindquist, who was trying to buy drugs.
The jury found Sergio Correa was guilty on 13 of the 14 counts he faced, including two counts of felony murder, three counts of murder and one count of murder with special circumstances.
Sergio Correa was originally set to be sentenced on March 2, but his sentencing was delayed when Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney Stephen M. Carney, who prosecuted the case, tested positive for COVID-19. His trial had been delayed repeatedly, in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic shuttering statewide courts and suspending jury trials.
When his sentencing was delayed, his sister’s sentencing was moved, too. The siblings will be sentenced back-to-back on Tuesday.
Ruth Correa testified against her older brother as part of a plea deal with the state that she hopes will lessen her sentence and give her a chance to freely see her two young children again someday.
She painted her brother as the mastermind behind the events of Dec. 19, 2017. She told the jury that her brother grabbed her hand and forced her to stab Matthew Lindquist. She also told the jury that she struck the family’s golden retriever, Skylar, on the head with a golf club so hard that it broke. Skylar was then locked in a bedroom and left there when the house was set ablaze.
Ruth Correa will be sentenced at 2 p.m. by Judge Hilary B. Strackbein, who oversees New London Superior Court Part A, where major crimes are heard.