Trial begins Tuesday for man accused in stabbing at Branford motel

A Madison man is scheduled to go on trial Tuesday in Superior Court in New Haven for allegedly stabbing a woman in a room at Motel 6 in Branford.

NEW HAVEN — A Madison man is scheduled to go on trial today in Superior Court in New Haven for allegedly stabbing a woman in a room at Motel 6 in Branford.

John Ginnetti, 71, of Warpas Road, is charged with first-degree assault, a felony. He has been held in lieu of $500,000 bail since his arrest Nov. 8, 2018, the day of the alleged event.

Branford police were called to the motel at about 4:20 p.m. that day after receiving a 911 call reporting a woman had been stabbed.

According to the police affidavit, a motel employee had called to report “a female victim came to the front desk, bloody and naked” to say she had just been stabbed by “John.”

Two motel employees “tended to the victim in the lobby area, as she was bleeding profusely,” the affidavit stated. “The victim was able to inform them that John Ginnetti just stabbed her and was leaving in his vehicle.”

At the same time, the affidavit said, one of the motel employees “was approached by an unknown teenage boy who informed her that he just saw a bloody half-naked older man exit the motel.”

The employee, who reportedly knows Ginnetti, then saw him backing his vehicle out of a parking space and she relayed this information to the 911 dispatcher. Police officers arrived shortly afterward and detained Ginnetti.

Ginnetti refused to cooperate with the officers and they took him to the Branford Police Department, the affidavit said. The victim was taken to Yale New Haven Hospital. Her condition was listed as “serious but stable.”

Some of the responding officers “quickly determined that the crime scene originated in room 117 and that a trail of blood evidence led to the first floor hallway and into the front lobby,” according to the affidavit.

When interviewed at the hospital, the woman told police that she and Ginnetti were “in a dating relationship and that earlier that day he picked her up and went to a restaurant in Hamden,” the affidavit stated.

They then went to the motel where they had consensual sex, she said. But she reported Ginnetti then went to the bathroom and when he returned to the woman, who was still in bed, “he was holding orange tape in his hand, which he wanted to use on her during sex,” the affidavit said.

“When the victim declined, Ginnetti pulled out a four-inch folding knife in anger,” the affidavit stated. “The victim added that Ginnetti proceeded to stab her several times before she was able to knock the knife out of his hand. At that point the victim states that Ginnetti used a pillow and tried to smother her by placing the pillow over her head.”

But the woman told police “the pillow was so bloody that she was able to slide her head away from the pillow, at which time Ginnetti left the room,” the affidavit added.

She was also quoted in the affidavit telling police “she feared for her life and believed that Ginnetti intended to kill her because she decided to stay with her husband rather than with him, which angered him.”

When police detectives went to room 117, they observed “blood evidence on the bed, walls, pillow and table, which was consistent with the victim’s statement.” But the detectives said the knife she described had not been recovered.

Ginnetti pleaded not guilty to the assault charge. During a pretrial appearance last year he rejected the state’s offer to plead guilty in return for a sentence which would have required him to serve 10 years in prison.

According to court documents, a judge at one of Ginnetti’s pretrial appearances ordered he be given anti-depression medicine daily and be placed on suicide watch.

During jury selection, which was completed last week, Ginnetti sat beside his defense attorney, Kevin Smith. The prosecutor in the case is Assistant State’s Attorney Reed Durham. Superior Court Judge Elpedio N. Vitale will preside over the trial.

Connecticut Media Group