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State high court hears appeal of former death-row inmate

Lazale Ashby

HARTFORD  — The Connecticut Supreme Court has heard the appeal of a former state death row inmate.

Lawyers for Lazale Ashby argue that a jailhouse informant should not have been allowed to testify during his trial in the 2002 rape and strangulation of Elizabeth Garcia in Hartford.

They also say the judge improperly excluded evidence and mishandled instructions on Ashby’s claim that he had consensual sex with the victim and that another man’s DNA was found on her body.

Oral arguments were held Monday morning.

Ashby is one of 11 former death row inmates now serving life in prison after the state’s highest court ruled the death penalty unconstitutional in 2015.

He also is serving a 25-year sentence for fatally shooting another Hartford woman, Nahshon Cohen, in 2003.

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