NEW BRITAIN - The sentencing of three people who testified against an accused killer of Dylan Sherman is being delayed by his state Supreme Court appeal.
Michael Guerrera, who was 20 at the time, was found guilty on assault charges by a jury in late 2013 in the beating death of Sherman, a 19-year-old father with another child on the way.
Guerrera was sentenced in January 2014 to 34 years in prison, followed by 10 years of special parole. A jury could not decide if he had participated in the murder, paving the way for the case to be tried again.
Dennis Guerrera, Michael’s older brother, pleaded guilty to murder in Sherman’s death and is serving a 40-year prison sentence.
Three codefendants, Jonathan Wilcox and siblings Michael and Sarah Boilard, who were also charged with various offenses connected to the murder, testified against Michael Guerrera during the trial.
All three admitted they had been promised that their testimony would be taken into consideration when their cases came up. Their cases have remained pending for years as the state prosecuted the Guerrera brothers. Each was told Tuesday during a brief appearance in New Britain Superior Court that their cases were continued to April to give the state Supreme Court time to consider Michael Guerrera’s appeal.
Sherman’s body was found by a hiker in a secluded area of Buttermilk Falls in Plymouth on Feb. 23, 2011.
Prosecutor John Malone portrayed the younger Guerrera as an enthusiastic participant in the death of the teen.
Police and Malone contend that Sherman was beaten by the Guerrera brothers at the Boilards’ Bristol apartment over a missing $750. The brothers then asked Wilcox to take them and Sherman to the falls, Wilcox testified at Michael Guerrera’s trial.
Wilcox told the jury he saw the brothers take Sherman up the hill, with Michael Guerrera carrying a baseball bat, and that only the brothers came back.
Sherman was found dead, with a serious head wound, the next morning.
Michael Guerrera’s lawyer has said his client was forced to go to the falls at gunpoint and didn’t actively participate in the killing. Michael Guerrera is appealing the assault conviction on the grounds that prosecutors and state corrections officials did not listen to hundreds of phone calls to the Guerrera brothers in prison, which he contends could contain information exonerating him. An appeals court upheld his conviction and a judge’s dismissal of his motion to have the murder charge permanently dismissed.
The state Supreme Court agreed to take up Michael Guerrera’s appeal in 2016.
Lisa Backus can be reached at 860-801-5066 or Lbackus@centralctcommunications.com.