Guilty Plea Doesn’t Soothe Pain Of Murder Victim’s Family

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NEW HAVEN— A man who fatally shot a Meriden convenience store owner on June 27, 2012, pleaded guilty to murder and first-degree robbery on Wednesday, his lawyer said.

Frankie Resto, 38, who was accused of murder, felony murder and other charges, is due back in court Feb. 7, said his lawyer, Glenn Conway.

Wednesday’s guilty plea was not part of any deal with the prosecution, Resto just decided to plead guilty, Conway said.

“He did a lot of soul-searching,” Conway said.

Resto had rejected a plea deal offered in September.

Resto was charged with shooting and killing 70-year-old Ibrahim Ghazal during a robbery June 27 at the EZ Mart on East Main Street in Meriden, police said. Surveillance video showed a man resembling Resto taking the money and firing into Ghazal’s chest, police said.

Resto faces a minimum sentence of 25 years in prison on the murder charge and could face as many as 80 years on the combined charges, Conway said.

A presentence investigation will be completed before the Feb. 7 court date.

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