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Newly released affidavit clarifies facts in murder plot

10/28/2005 - NBA Ray Allen Seattle SuperSonics + more

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. -- A convicted felon told police he asked
a Southington counselor for $15,000 up front to kill the stepfather
of Seattle SuperSonics guard Ray Allen, according to a newly
released arrest warrant affidavit.

Parts of the affidavit are redacted, but it provides some
indication of where police got the information they used to arrest
Ernest C. Garlington, 37, director of psychological services at a
Waterbury-area nonprofit organization.

Garlington and Torrance Battle, 31, of Waterbury, are charged
with conspiring with Robbie Santos, who in 2003 fired a shot at
psychologist Derek Hopson outside a mental health clinic in
Middletown before the gun jammed.

Hopson was not injured.

Santos was convicted for his role and is serving an 18-year
prison sentence.

According to the affidavit, Garlington wanted Hopson dead
because he was "messing" with Garlington's wife, Darlene
Powell-Garlington, who was formerly married to Hopson and about to
lose her house.

Garlington's attorney, William Dow, told The Hartford Courant
that the case against Garlington relies too heavily on shaky
statements.

"Even though a portion of the affidavit has been made public,
it's obvious it consists basically of convicted felons looking for
leniency from the state and only one of them claims to be able to
know anything specific," Dow said. "And even his information
consists of hearsay."

Garlington remains free on $750,000 bond. As of Thursday, Dow
said Garlington was still employed by New Opportunities for
Waterbury, which serves low-income families.

Colleagues described Garlington as a respected counselor who
transformed the lives of ex-cons and others with troubled pasts.

In the affidavit, police say two Waterbury men were recruited to
beat Hopson with a golf club three years ago. The alleged recruiter
was Willie Foote, a five-time convicted felon and a childhood
friend of Garlington's.

Hopson was injured in the attack and hospitalized, but the
affidavit indicated that Garlington was angry because Hopson was
"not hurt enough."

So Garlington again approached Foote, who asked for $15,000,
according to the affidavit. Foote later told police he had no
intention of killing Hopson and Garlington never paid him any
money.

Allen, who played his college ball at the University of
Connecticut, has said his family has been aware of the situation
for at least a year and that he's primarily concerned with the
safety of his mother, Flora Allen-Hopson.