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Sleepwalking defense from Conn. man who apparently tried to rob woman at casino

(CBS/AP)

Conn. man accused of trying to rob a woman at the Mohegan Sun casino is offering an explanation: He was sleepwalking
CBS/AP
(CBS/AP) NEW LONDON, Conn. - A Connecticut man who police say admitted that he tried to rob a woman at knifepoint at the Mohegan Sun casino is planning an eye-opening defense: He claims he was sleepwalking.

Attorney Nicholas D'Amato told a judge Wednesday that he plans to use that medical defense for 27-year-old suspect Winston Riley, the Norwich Bulletin reported Thursday.

The Bridgeport man was arrested on March 18 after the woman told police Riley had flashed a large knife and tried to grab her purse while the two were alone in a parking garage elevator at the casino, police said.

Riley said he was awakened by the woman when she ran away in confusion and fright, his lawyer said.

D'Amato said he's confirmed with Riley's family that he has had a problem with sleepwalking since he was a child. The lawyer said he's in the early stages of gathering medical records in his attempt to convince prosecutors they should take the claim seriously.

"It is the first time we've encountered this," D'Amato said. "This is a legitimate medical condition."

"I told the judge and prosecutor... `Do you honestly think he woke up one morning, drove across the state and decided to rob a woman in a place full of security cameras?"' D'Amato told the newspaper. "It doesn't make sense if you think about it rationally."

Police said Riley confessed to the crime after he was arrested and told them he "just wanted some money."

D'Amato said the facts don't add up, since his client has no criminal record and is married.

Riley's bond was lowered Wednesday to $85,000 from $100,000. He is due back in court July 17.

Stay alert for the followup.

  • Barry Leibowitz

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