Longtime 'Courant' Reporter Charged With Murder

By: The Associated Press and E&P Staff A Hartford man who suffered an apparent heart attack after shooting someone originally identified as an intruder by police, now faces murder charges.

J. Gregory Robertson, 64, was actually arguing with a third man Thursday, when Ralph Colon, 56, stepped between them, police said.

[Robertson used the byline J. Greg Robertson for more than 20 years for The Hartford Courant until the early 1980s.]

Police said that Robertson was inside his apartment, and that the other two men were standing outside on a porch when Robertson and the other man argued through the open door.

Robertson pulled a handgun, and Colon stepped between the two men, police said. Colon was shot twice in the stomach and died at Hartford Hospital.

Robertson was being questioned by police when he collapsed and was taken to St. Francis Hospital. He will be arrested once he is released, police said. He is a former reporter and editor for the Courant and served as press secretary to former Mayor Carrie Saxon Perry.

An excerpt from a Courant report today follows.

Two people told police they saw James G. Robertson shoot Ralph Colon on a fire escape of Robertson's South End building, according to court documents released Monday.

Robertson, a former Hartford Courant reporter and editor, was arraigned on a charge of murder Monday in Superior Court in Hartford in connection with the fatal shooting of Colon Thursday. Bail was set at $1.5 million.

Robertson, 64, was charged Sunday after being treated for a heart attack he suffered while being questioned by police about the shooting at his Seymour Street apartment building.

Colon, 56, of Saybrooke Street in Hartford, had accompanied a friend to Robertson's apartment Thursday evening and apparently had been trying to intercede in a dispute when Robertson shot him, according to an affidavit filed by police to obtain an arrest warrant. Colon died Friday morning at Hartford Hospital.

The friend, Jesse Huergas, and one of Robertson's neighbors both told police they witnessed the shooting.

The affidavit says Robertson told a 911 operator at 8:42 p.m. Thursday that he "shot a guy that broke in his house."

When police arrived Colon was lying on the third-floor fire escape.


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