Watch CBS News

Suspect Comes Forward In Deadly 2002 Conn. Hit-And-Run, But Can No Longer Be Charged

ENFIELD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A suspect has now come forward after years of searching for the driver in a hit-and-run in upstate Connecticut, but the hands of prosecutors and police are tied.

As WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau reported, Johnathen Stewart, 19, was struck and killed while walking home from a friend's house on Nov. 17, 2002. Despite an intense investigation, no arrest was ever made.

Enfield Police Chief Carl Sferrazza told the Hartford Courant a person came in for questioning earlier this week and admitted to hitting Stewart. But the chief says that person -- whose name was not released -- can't be charged because the statute of limitations expired in 2007.

Stewart's family says it's difficult to understand how someone can confess and not be charged.

But U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), a former Connecticut state attorney general, said while the driver can no longer be charged, any accomplices to the crime may well be.

"They should be held accountable if they assisted him in repairing the car or concealing the facts, or somehow covering up, that may be outside the statute of limitations," Blumenthal said.

Blumenthal said he stands ready to assist lawmakers to explore every possibility for punishment of those who might have committed crimes in the case that are unaffected by the statute of limitations.

Meanwhile, the law has since been changed and there's no longer a statute of limitations on motor vehicle fatalities.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.