Man gets 55 years in prison for store clerk death

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A man who shot a store clerk to death during a robbery in East Hartford has been sentenced to 55 years in prison.

Twenty-seven-year-old Kezlyn Mendez of Hartford was sentenced Tuesday in Hartford Superior Court. A jury convicted him of felony murder, manslaughter and robbery charges.

Authorities say Mendez killed 47-year-old Luthfur “Belal” Tarafdar of Manchester at the Circle H Food Mart on Burnside Avenue in August 2012. Mendez said he was ordered to rob the store by a drug dealer to whom he owed $1,700.

The Journal Inquirer reports Judge Edward Mullarkey said at the sentencing that a surveillance video showing the killing was the most troubling he has ever seen.

Tarafdar’s wife, Shamima Tarafdar, told the judge that she had the perfect family and Mendez ruined it.

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Information from: Journal Inquirer, http://www.journalinquirer.com

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