Bristol group home death ruled homicide: medical examiner

Published on Thursday, 12 October 2017 21:50


BRISTOL - The death of a young man at a local group home has been ruled a homicide.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said Thursday afternoon that 29-year-old Joseph King’s death was ruled a sudden death in the setting of physical restraint in a patient with Down syndrome and bicuspid aortic valve. A BAV is an inherited form of heart disease in which two of the leaflets of the aortic valve fuse together before birth and result in a two-leaflet valve, as opposed to the normal three-leaflet valve.

The manner of King’s death was ruled a homicide, a medical examiner official said.

Bristol police on Thursday said no charges have been filed, and that they are still investigating.

“We’re looking into all the aspects of the death,” said Kevin Morrell, head of the detective division, who said he could not comment further.

In the evening hours of June 15, King, at a group home at 35 Yale St., had to be restrained by two employees of the home on the kitchen floor during dinner, as he had began acting unruly. After appearing to calm down, the staff members left King lying down and began tending to other patients. King was later found by another employee, who realized he was not breathing.

King was taken to Bristol Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

According to state records, the group home is operated by Vinfen Connecticut - which has a contract with the state’s Department of Developmental Services. According to its website, Vinfen is “a leading provider of community-based services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and psychiatric conditions.”

A request for comment from Vinfen was not returned Thursday.

Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or at

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol, General News on Thursday, 12 October 2017 21:50. Updated: Thursday, 12 October 2017 21:53.