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Employee who shot 2 over workload gets 20 years

  • Article by: DAVE COLLINS
  • Associated Press
  • May 20, 2014 - 4:40 PM

HARTFORD, Conn. — A former maintenance worker at a Connecticut hospital was sentenced to 20 years in prison Tuesday for shooting and permanently wounding two supervisors in 2012 after being disciplined for refusing to accept extra work duties.

Victor Valcarcel, 66, agreed to the sentence when he pleaded guilty in February to felony assault in connection with the shootings at the Hospital for Special Care in New Britain.

The victims, Lynn Trask and Robert Barucci, weren't in the courtroom as Superior Court Judge Arthur Hadden imposed the prison time.

Trask, 67, was left a paraplegic and now lives in western New York state, southwest of Buffalo. He said in a phone interview that he didn't attend the sentencing because it would have been too much travel.

"The condition I was left in, I really don't think it was long enough," Trask said about the prison sentence. "There's no way he would understand the torment and stuff that he's put my family through. I just wish he could live in my body for a couple of months so he could see what it's like."

A message seeking comment was left for Barucci, 55.

Valcarcel didn't speak at the sentencing. His public defender, Michael Isko, didn't return phone and email messages seeking comment.

When asked about the plea deal and sentencing, prosecutor John H. Malone said the judge exercised his discretion.

The shootings on Feb. 2, 2012, sparked a large emergency response. Valcarcel was arrested within about an hour at his home less than 2 miles from the Hospital for Special Care, a private, nonprofit, 228-bed hospital specializing in physical rehabilitation.

Authorities said Valcarcel was disciplined after refusing to accept more cleaning duties that Barucci wanted him to do. Trask said Valcarcel didn't want to clean cardboard out of a closet, a job that would have taken him five minutes or less.

In a four-page statement to New Britain police, Valcarcel said he then went home, got a gun, returned to the hospital and opened fire at Trask and Barucci in Barucci's office in the basement.

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