Teen, 17, rejects state’s deal in Stamford shootout cases

Michael Cummo / Hearst Connecticut Media

STAMFORD — A city teenager rejected a state offer to serve five years in prison in return for guilty pleas on charges connected to two separate shootouts in late 2020.

Assistant State’s Attorney Daniel Cummings said the state offered Antoine Henry, 17, a 12-year prison sentence suspended after five years if he pleaded guilty to attempt at first-degree assault and illegal discharge of firearm.

Henry also would have had to serve five years of probation as a part of the deal.

Under the deal, the state also offered to waive the firearms sentence enhancement, which is applicable to cases where a gun is used in the commission of a felony. In this case, the enhancement means Henry would have to serve a mandatory minimum of 10 years, as opposed to 5 years, for an attempt at first-degree assault.

Henry rejected the offer at the same time he is attempting to hire a private attorney to replace public defender Barry Butler, who has represented him since his arrest in December 2020.

During a remote hearing held on the case Tuesday, Butler asked the state to consider keeping the offer on the table until Henry had time to hire and speak with his new attorney.

Cummings, however, said the defense team had months to discuss the offer, which was scheduled to be accepted or rejected Tuesday.

When Henry rejected the offer Tuesday, Cummings rescinded it and asked Judge Gary White to place the case on the trial list.

Henry faces three counts of attempt at first-degree assault, two counts of criminal use of a firearm, first-degree reckless endangerment, illegal discharge of a firearm, risk of injury to a child and carrying a pistol without a permit stemming from two shootouts that police said stemmed from a “neighborhood beef” in 2020.

Henry, who is turning 18 next month, was originally arrested as a juvenile. His cases, however, have since been transferred to the Part A docket at Stamford Superior Court where the district’s most serious matters are heard.

The first incident happened on Nov. 23, 2020, near the intersection of Myano and Catoona lanes.

Henry was allegedly involved in what police described as a shootout where two men fired 16 bullets at each other around 2:15 p.m. that day, according to the warrant.

While no one was injured in the shootout, the incident led to a lockdown at the nearby Westover Elementary School. The lockdown marked the second time in less than a week where a school needed to be secured because of gunshots in the area.

The second incident, which left a 56-year-old hospital worker with a gunshot wound, happened on Dec. 6, 2020, in the area of West Broad Street.

According to his arrest warrant, Henry was walking with a friend near the intersection of West Broad Street and Delaware Avenue, when another individual, dressed in all black and wearing a facemask, allegedly ambushed them and fired about five gunshots in their direction.

Surveillance footage from the area showed a man later identified as Henry and his friend run toward the intersection, where Henry is seen taking what is believed to be a gun out of his pocket and firing off one shot.

“(B)ased on Antoine Henry’s path of travel it is more likely than not that he fired the (sixth) and final shot,” Laccona wrote in the warrant.

There was an eyewitness to the shooting, according to the warrant.

Following the shooting, patrol officers responded to the rear of Westover Elementary School, where they found Henry, “breathing heavily and sweating profusely even though it was a cold evening with temperatures near freezing,” the warrant said.

“Henry has an extensive criminal background and has recently been linked to several shootings in Stamford,” Investigator Frank Laccona wrote in the arrest warrant.

A day after the shooting, investigators combed the area with K9s and metal detectors and found a loaded 9-mm pistol with an illegal extended clip. The gun had been reported stolen out of South Carolina.

That gun, Laccona writes in the warrant, was found nearly 200 feet from where Henry was arrested a day earlier.

Henry was initially arrested in connection to the second shooting. Investigators were able to the link the gun found after that shooting to the November incident.

Following Tuesday’s hearings, Henry’s case was placed on the jury list where it will stay until it is scheduled for trial.