Resto rejects plea deal in Meriden store clerk's killing - KCTV5 News

Resto rejects plea deal in Meriden store clerk's killing

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Frankie Resto Frankie Resto
Ibrahim Ghazal Ibrahim Ghazal

Accused killer Frankie Resto told a judge Thursday that he will not be taking a plea deal that was put on the table.

Resto faces a murder charge in the 2012 shooting death of Ibrahim Ghazal.

Resto is accused of shooting and killing Ghazal during a robbery at his convenience store. The entire crime was caught on surveillance from inside the store.

Police said Resto demanded money from Ghazal, and when he handed it over, Resto shot and killed him anyway.

In court Thursday morning, the judge said he put the offer of 40 years in jail on the table in August because neither side had made a plea offer up to that point, and for a case to go to trial there needs to be a plea at least offered.

"It's not fair," said the daughter of Ghazal outside of court Thursday.

Ghazal's family said it was outraged at first, because they thought the offer is what both the prosecution and defense had agreed upon without consulting them.

Gazil's wife gave Eyewitness News a written statement because she only speaks Arabic.

"Beyond the emotional and psychological suffering of all us, my six children and me can not be expressed in words. We have received a death sentence of our own. Each one of us has died in a small way," the statement read.

In court Thursday, the judge made it clear that he was the one who came up with the deal. He said his thinking was Resto would never take it, but the judge was trying to get both sides to start talking to see if a deal was possible and a trial could be avoided.

"The family is definitely surprised because no discussion of the offer was presented to them before the offer was made," Victim's Advocate Advisory Committee member Len Suzio said on behalf of the family. "We did meet with prosecutor Doyle after the fact, and he did explain more details of the offer at that time. But the family would have rejected any offer or deal that reduced the max sentence."

If convicted, Resto faces up to 60 years in jail.

The case is expected to go to trial in November.

Resto's family was also in court Thursday, but they would not comment to Eyewitness News.

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