A Hartford man faced a judge on Friday after he was charged with three unsolved murders from the department's cold case files.
Just one day after his arrest, 34-year-old Harold Patterson was arraigned at Hartford Superior Court on Friday morning on three counts of murder. Patterson has denied the charges.
But, Patterson was accused of shooting and killing a 34-year-old man on Acton Street in Hartford in June of 2008. Then two months later, he was accused of the shooting deaths of 21-year-old Lemar Gresham and 23-year-old Carlos Ortiz in a drive-by shooting as they were walking along Edwards Street.
Outside the courtroom, Ortiz's mother Maria Galindo said she'd never thought she would see this day.
“The best thing I've had happen in eight years. What I've been through waiting for a very long time,” Galindo said. “I didn't know if I would live to see the day and here we are...thank God."
The Hartford Police Department Cold Case Unit reopened the case in January and worked with the State’s Attorney’s Office and other agencies to piece the three cases together.
“Some new information had developed over the course of the years. Evidence was re-examined,” Hartford Police Deputy Chief Brian Foley said. “Based on several factors detectives were able to make an arrest on all three and he was capture without incident yesterday morning.
A 22-page arrest warrant detailed eyewitnesses to all of the murders coming forward and naming Patterson. Others said he had confessed the crimes to them.
Now as prosecutors work to present their case against Patterson, the victims’ families said they will be there every step of the way.
“We've lived to see this and it's here,” Galindo said. “And we're gonna be here to the ends until they sentence him."
Police have never recovered the gun used in the three shootings, but they said the same weapon was used in all of them.
Many members of the other victims' families were in the courtroom as well on Friday, but did not want to talk to Eyewitness News. But, they expressed the same sentiment and said they are looking to see justice served for their loved ones.
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