Jurors Begin Deliberating in Former Windsor Locks Police Sergeant's Case Wednesday

Robert Koistinen is charged with interfering the prosecution of the case in which his son, Michael, was convicted of striking and killing a 15-year-old riding a bicycle with his car around 11:59 p.m. October 29, 2010.

Jurors in the trial of former Windsor Locks Police Sgt. Robert Koistinen began deliberating Wednesday after hearing closing arguments from the state and the defense.

Robert Koistinen, 55, is accused of interfering with the investigation of the accident in which his son, Michael, an off-duty Windsor Locks police officer at the time, was convicted of striking 15-year-old Henry Dang with his car as the teen rode his bicycle at the intersection of Spring and West streets on Oct. 29, 2010.

Prosecutor John Fahey said Koistinen wore two hats the night of the accident and made decisions that helped his son Michael. Fahey said a parent would not be able to send possible witnesses through the crime scene. Parents could not take their son away in a car like Robert Koistinen did.

Michael Koistinen pleaded no contest to second-degree manslaughter and tampering with physical evidence on June 12. He was sentenced on August 27 to five years and four months in prison.

Robert Koistinen is charged with third-degree hindering prosecution.

Fahey said Koistinen did not ask his son the question a police officer would want to know, “what happened?”

Koistinen’s claim that he couldn’t get involved once he learned his son was involved, was not the case, Fahey said.

“He did get involved and he didn’t,” Fahey said. “He did when it was convenient. The defense can’t have it both ways. He wore both hats that night and rendered assistance wearing both hats.”

Defense Attorney Elliot Spector countered has four basic elements to prove. One is that Michael Koistinen committed second-degree manslaughter and tampering with evidence.  Two that during the 31 minutes before other investigators came to the scene that he Robert Koistinen knew his son committed those crimes.

Three that the Robert Koistinen committed the actions he is charged with, and four, that he intentionally tried to hinder the prosecution of the case.

Spector said the evidence presented during the trial showed the opposite of what the state claims.

“This case is not about what Michael Koistinen did, it is about what Robert Koistinen did,” Spector said. “That’s what you should concentrate on.”

Spector said the prosecution’s case has a lot of red herrings, which are meant to divert attention from parts of the case.

The six-person jury was sent to deliberate the case just before the lunch break.


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