Case against New Britain murder suspect continued

Published on Wednesday, 6 February 2019 20:40
Written by Charles Paullin


NEW BRITAIN - The case against the suspected killer of Erik Rivera on North Street earlier this month has been continued to March 22 so the defense can review discovery in the case.

Attorney Dennis McMahon asked for the continuance date for Justin Hapgood, 18, in New Britain Superior Court Wednesday. Hapgood is charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

McMahon told The Herald he will review the evidence and discuss with his client whether Hapgood wants to pursue a trial or plead guilty. McMahon is representing Hapgood because of a conflict with the Public Defender’s Office.

Hapgood remains in custody on $1 million bond.

A co-conspirator in the case, Wilfredo Oquendo, was arraigned Monday in connection with his involvement with the shooting and ordered held on $2 million bond. Oquendo, 17, was being regarded as a minor before his Monday appearance.

Oquendo remains in custody, according to court records. He is charged with accessory to murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

Chris Watson of the New Britain State’s Attorney’s Office, who is assigned to the Oquendo case, did not immediately return a request for comment on why Oquendo is now being charged as an adult.

Hapgood is alleged to have shot Rivera near the intersection of North and Willow streets on Jan. 15 after Rivera had attempted to rob Oquendo, according to the arrest warrant for Oquendo.

Oquendo allegedly told Hapgood to shoot Rivera after the robbery attempt.

Charles Paullin can be reached at 860-801-5074 or

Posted in New Britain Herald, New Britain on Wednesday, 6 February 2019 20:40. Updated: Wednesday, 6 February 2019 20:43.