Liability trial starts in Newington police officer murder-suicide

Mourners attending services for Newington police officer Ciara McDermott walk past a sign outside the Church of St. Mary, in Newington, Conn., Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2005. McDermott was killed last night by her ex-boyfriend, State Police Trooper Victor Diaz. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Mourners attending services for Newington police officer Ciara McDermott walk past a sign outside the Church of St. Mary, in Newington, Conn., Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2005. McDermott was killed last night by her ex-boyfriend, State Police Trooper Victor Diaz. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A trial is underway to determine whether state police are liable for the killing of a Connecticut police officer, who was shot by her state trooper ex-boyfriend in 2005.

Authorities say Trooper Victor Diaz killed Newington officer Ciara McDermott and himself at her West Hartford home. He used his personal handgun, which state police seized after Diaz was charged with drunken driving but returned to his brother four months before the killings. Diaz lived with his brother at the time.

McDermott’s family says state police shouldn’t have returned the handgun to Diaz’s brother and are liable for McDermott’s death. But state police say there were no indications that Diaz would become violent.

The trial on the family’s lawsuit began this past week in Hartford Superior Court and resumes Wednesday.

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