NEW BRITAIN - A judge ruled Wednesday that the lawsuit against the City of Bristol and a Bristol police officer filed by the mother of a woman who was killed by her husband in 2014 can go to trial.
Bristol officials were seeking to put an end to the lawsuit filed in 2015 by Michele Brasley against the city and officer George Franek as the administrator of the estate of her daughter, Kyla Ryng. But the judge denied their motion for summary judgment Wednesday. The ruling means the judge felt there was enough basis for the case to move forward to a trial, Brasley’s attorney, Paul Iannaccone, said.
The 26-year-old Ryng was killed by her estranged husband, Alexander, in June 2014 while their young three children ages 4, 3 and 20 months were in the house.
The two older children ran to Brasley’s house next door to seek help, telling their grandmother that daddy “shooted” their mother. The youngest child was still in a high chair when the older children ran next door, Iannaccone said. Brasley is suing in part because as their next door neighbor, she saw the incidents leading up to her daughter’s death.
Her daughter twice sought the help of police when her estranged husband’s behavior was becoming more threatening, Iannaccone said. A mental health worker who was dealing with Alexander Ryng had conveyed her concerns about his behavior, but the officers who responded didn’t have the information, the attorney said. Bristol police also said they never received the letter, required by law, from the person who sold Alexander Ryng a long gun in the days before he shot his wife and himself in the couple’s Bristol home.
“People who have weapons are multiple times more likely to kill their partner,” Iannaccone said. “Bristol police can’t seem to find the letter.”
City attorneys contended in their motion for summary judgment that Bristol police weren’t responsible because they didn’t cause Kyla Ryng’s death. If the judge had ruled in the city’s favor, it would have effectively put an end to the lawsuit. Brasley is seeking an unspecified amount of money. The children are now living with Kyla Ryng’s brother and his wife in Massachusetts.
Bristol Police Chief Brian Gould, who was not chief when Ryng was killed, declined to comment on Wednesday, citing the pending litigation.
Jury selection in the case is scheduled to start Sept. 12 in New Britain Superior Court.
Lisa Backus can be reached at 860-801-5066 or Lbackus@centralctcommunications.com.