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On eve of trial, Conn. man pleads guilty to murdering his parents

David Owens, The Hartford Courant on

Published in News & Features

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- On the eve of his trial, Kyle Navin pleaded guilty Monday to the 2015 murders of his parents, Westport refuse company owners who authorities said were poised to stop financially supporting their son and cut him out of their will.

Jeffrey and Jeanette Navin of Easton were last seen Aug. 4, 2015, and were reported missing Aug. 7, 2015, by relatives. Their son, Kyle Navin, 29, was the last to see each alive and was charged with their murders after their remains were found in October 2015 behind a vacant home in Weston. Both had been fatally shot with a .40-caliber handgun, the same type their son owned.

Navin's guilty pleas came Monday afternoon, shortly after Bridgeport Superior Court Judge Robert J. Devlin Jr. denied more than two dozen defense motions that sought to limit the evidence prosecutors Joseph T. Corradino and Michael DeJoseph could present to jurors. The prosecutors and defense attorney Eugene Riccio then met briefly with Devlin. Prosecutors sent word to the Navins' relatives to return to court for the guilty pleas.

Navin, dressed in a gray suit, pleaded guilty to two counts of murder. The state dropped a charge of murder with special circumstances, which has a penalty of life in prison without the possibility of parole and could have caused Navin to be incarcerated at the state's maximum security Northern Correctional Institution, where he has been held since his arrest. Under the terms of the plea agreement, Navin will serve 55 years in prison and, under current law, will not be eligible for parole or early release. Sentencing is scheduled for June 29.

The state and defense spent two months picking a jury to hear the case. The trial was to begin Tuesday.

Corradino gave a summary of the evidence the state would have presented to a jury, including damning cellphone records and text messages between Navin and his father that were obtained by Easton Police Chief Timothy Shaw, and which were a focus of defense efforts to exclude evidence. Those text messages contained incriminating exchanges between Navin and his father.

Navin's girlfriend, Jennifer Valiante, has pleaded guilty to hindering prosecution and is serving an eight-year sentence. Text messages Navin and Valiante exchanged were also to be introduced as evidence at the trial. In one message, Navin wrote about his plan to "wipe out the virus and get the money for life."

Corradino said Navin shot his mother as she sat in the cab of a truck owned by the family business, J&J Refuse. She had helped him on a refuse collection route just before he killed her. Bullet holes and Jeanette Navin's DNA were found the truck seat. Her DNA was also found on the muzzle of Navin's .40-caliber pistol.

Jeffrey Navin's blood and DNA were found in Navin's Bridgeport home. A piece of carpet had been cut out and discarded, but investigators still found Jeffrey Navin's blood and DNA.

During a search of Kyle Navin's Bridgeport home, police found a Home Depot receipt for items include large garbage bags, painter's tape, bleach, cleaning chemicals and insecticide. When their bodies were found, Jeannette Navin's bones tumbled from a brush pile as workers cleared the property. Jeffrey Navin's badly decomposed body was found a short time later wrapped in garbage bags secured with duct tape. His ankles had been bound with blue painter's tape.

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