A Springfield business owner who lives in Hartford pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a charge that he plotted over the summer to kill his girlfriend’s son and “kill the whole family if necessary,” court records show.
Jose L. Carmona, the owner of Cuba Appliance, entered his plea in federal court in Springfield and was held without bail, according to court records.
His lawyer, Raymond O’Hara, presented a different portrayal of his client, saying in an e-mail that he appears to be a homeless veteran with a history of mental illness and combat-related head injuries that he sustained in Panama.
“He was no more capable of buying a trap to kill a mouse than to hire a hitman to kill” his girlfriend’s son, O’Hara said.
According to an affidavit, Carmona, who is in his 50s, met with a police informant behind his business on State Street on Aug. 27 to discuss a heroin purchase and told the man that he wanted to pay someone $5,000 to kill his girlfriend’s son.
Carmona reportedly wanted the son dead because of a fight that he had with his girlfriend and the son. He called the informant several times to discuss the plot, according to the affidavit.
Carmona also said he was trying to hire someone to travel from Puerto Rico to kill the son, but that plan ultimately fell through, the affidavit states.
The informant met again with Carmona Aug. 31 inside the informant’s vehicle, which authorities had outfitted with recording devices, according to the filing.
During the conversation, Carmona told the man that he could not pay him for the job immediately, but that he was getting a large settlement from the Social Security Administration the following week and could pay him then, the affidavit states.
Carmona said that he wanted the informant to put a rope around the son’s neck and that he would accompany him to the house in Springfield and personally shoot the son “right there and kill the whole family if necessary,” the filing states.
He also reportedly told the informant to retrieve a dog inside the home, “which Carmona is very fond of.”
In addition, according to the filing, Carmona said he tried to kill the son the day before. He said he was riding in a car being driven by a friend and asked the man to pull up next to the son’s car, so he could shoot him with a .357 handgun that he had in his possession.
“The driver of the vehicle refused and kept driving,” the filing states.