CRIME

Man, 35, turns down plea deal calling for 70 years in prison

A Connecticut man charged with killing three people in 2008 has turned down a plea deal that called for a 70-year prison sentence.

The Hartford Courant reports 35-year-old Harold Patterson on Wednesday opted to instead face a jury. Patterson faces up to 180 years behind bars if convicted. A trial date has not been scheduled.

Prosecutors allege Patterson fatally shot Raymond "Flip" Hite in June 2008 and used the same gun to kill Lamar Gresham and Carlos Ortiz in a drive-by shooting two months later.

An arrest warrant says a forensics lab connected shell casings found after Hite's death to those found at the scene of the drive-by shooting.

Patterson has pleaded not guilty to the homicides. His lawyer has said he denies any involvement in the deaths.

___

Information from: Hartford Courant, http://www.courant.com