AVON, CT (WFSB) - The confession of a 2014 Simsbury murder came last week, but for the last few years the suspect has blended in with society.
William Winters Leverett worked at Fresh Market in Avon and now shoppers are questioning the grocer’s hiring practices.
When Leverett applied for the job, the Fresh Market says his background check came up clean.
Now the grocer is taking steps to find out what went wrong.
It’s a face many in Simsbury and Avon have seen before.
“That’s what the scariest part. That I’ve seen him many times working the register at Fresh Market,” said Maggie Lawry.
Leverett, the assistant front-end manager of the Fresh Market in Avon, is now behind bars on a $2 million bail.
Police say the 27-year-old confessed last Wednesday to killing Melissa Millan on the trail on Iron Horse Boulevard back in 2014.
“We actually are frequent shoppers at Fresh Market and personally have had many conversations with the criminal so it kind of touches home for us,” said Kimberly Larsen.
The arrest warrant says Leverett saw Millan jogging and began thinking about a possible interaction and became anxious before he stabbed her in the chest.
Prior to the murder, Leverett was convicted of a child sex assault case in Colorado.
“We have been shocked to know that he lived so close by and he worked at fresh market which some of my friends shop and me shop,” said Madi LeFranc.
Channel 3 learned the Fresh Market uses a third-party vendor for background checks.
A spokesperson says, “Had we known at the time he was a registered sex offender as of 2011, he would not have been hired. We are investigating why Mr. Leverett’s background check failed to uncover his prior conviction and status as a sex offender.”
Now, the grocer is redoing criminal background checks on every person who works at the store and says no current worker is on the Connecticut sex offender registry.
A spokesperson says the Fresh Market is committed to ensuring a safe work and shopping environment.
“Kind of makes us fear for the people in our community and I’m at runner as well so it makes me kind of nervous to run on a trail by myself,” said Larsen.
Questions have also been raised about how Simsbury police handled this case and if Leverett was ever named as a person of interest these last four years.
Channel 3 has requested an interview with the police chief and expect to hear back this week.