NEW BRITAIN - Former mayoral candidate Alfred Mayo was found guilty of breach of peace Monday after trial on charges that he had assaulted Mayor Erin Stewart at a children’s program in 2015.
Mayo seemed stunned after the verdict was announced Monday. New Britain Superior Court Judge James Graham also denied several motions by Mayo for acquittal and a new trial. He will be sentenced by Graham on March 13. He could face a maximum of six months in prison.
“It was no surprise,” Mayo said after Graham announced the verdict. “They was going to find something.”
Mayo represented himself during the trial, filing dozens of motions and subpoenas seeking testimony and evidence from witnesses who often agreed with the prosecution’s version of events.
Mayo showed up at the mayor’s annual Pencil Hunt in July 2015 on a bicycle, carrying a campaign sign, witnesses testified. He then began handing out campaign literature to the 5- to 13-year-olds present. Stewart and her staff called police after Mayo grabbed the mayor’s arm while she was telling him to leave. He was charged with third-degree assault and breach of peace the day after the event.
Mayo refused to plead guilty to any of the charges in exchange for a suspended jail sentence, opting to take the case to trial.
He interviewed and cross-examined some witnesses for hours during four days of testimony, which concluded Thursday. The jury deliberated for more than a day before finding him guilty of breach of peace.
The 60-year-old Mayo, who filed Friday to run for state representative in the 25th District race, maintained throughout the trial that he hadn’t put his hands on the mayor.
“He is an individual who hasn’t expressed any remorse or regret at having engaged in criminal conduct at a children’s pencil hunt,” said New Britain State’s Attorney Brian Preleski, who prosecuted the case. “I do think the mayor was very courageous to come forward and say ‘I’m not going to let a man do this to me.’ There are a lot of women who are victims of violence at the hands of men who don’t come forward. More victims should take her example.”
Lisa Backus can be reached at 860-801-5066 or Lbackus@centralctcommunications.com.