A fight in East Haven left one man dead and his two brothers injured when they were assaulted Tuesday afternoon and on Wednesday, the suspect in the case appeared in court for the first time.
The fight is believed to have started over a stolen gold necklace, according to police and family members.
According to family members, the necklace belonged to Dion Lieto and had been given to him by his grandmother. However, somehow it was stolen and the brothers wanted it back.
Dion Lieto, 24, and his two brothers, Michael Lieto, 21, and Robert Lieto, 26, met Aaron Powell, 21, on Maplevale Road around 2:15 p.m.
The brothers told family members that they believed Powell was going to hand over the message and Dion Lieto and Powell had exchanged messages over Facebook.
A fight broke out after an unidentified 17-year-old teenager showed up. Michael Lieto and Robert Lieto were stabbed and Dion Lieto was hit with an "unknown blunt object," police said.
Michael Lieto and Robert Lieto were taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital. Michael Lieto was pronounced dead a few hours later. At last check, Robert Lieto was in critical condition. Dion Lieto suffered injuries that were not life-threatening.
Powell and a 17-year-old, who can't be identified because he's underage, were arrested by East Haven police Tuesday.
Powell was being held on a $1 million bond and charged with manslaughter, assault, reckless endangerment, carrying a dangerous weapon and breach of peace.
On Wednesday, Powell, who has a lengthy criminal history, appeared in a filled Superior Court in New Haven and only a few feet from him sat Marissa Lieto, who is the sister of Michael, Robert and Dion Lieto.
"You know what. Mikey's resting and that's all I got to say," she told Eyewitness News. "And he smiled every day of his life, happy. A good kid, he did not deserve this."
According to family members, Michael Lieto was starting Gateway Community College in New Haven in January and wanted to be a police officer.
Powell's family did not comment after court Wednesday.
The Connecticut State Police Major Crimes Squad is assisting with the homicide investigation.
Dozens including family membrs attended a vigil for Michael Lieto Wednesday night.
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