Newly released affidavit clarifies facts in murder plot

Updated: October 28, 2005, 7:26 PM ET
Associated Press

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.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press