NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A Hamden police officer pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree assault in connection with the 2019 shooting of an unarmed woman.
New Haven State’s Attorney Patrick J. Griffin announced Thursday under the terms of the plea, which was entered as nolo contendere, Devin Eaton, 32, faces a total effective sentence of five years in prison, suspended after 18 months, followed by three years of probation.
Eaton has the right to argue for an entirely suspended sentence under the agreement, and agreed to never again seek employment as a law enforcement officer in the United States, Griffin said.
Prosecutors said Eaton shot and seriously wounded Stephanie Washington on April 16, 2019, as he and Yale University Police Officer Terrance Pollock investigated a report of an alleged armed robbery in the area of Argyle Street at Dixwell Avenue.
Eaton fired 13 shots toward a vehicle, which was stopped on Argyle Street in New Haven, prosecutors said. Washington, who was a passenger in the vehicle, was struck. She was treated for serious but non-life-threatening injuries. The driver of the vehicle was not injured.
Eaton told investigators he believed the driver had displayed a firearm while responding to the officer’s commands to exit the car, Griffin said.
There was no evidence the driver or Washington had a firearm at the time of the shooting, Griffin said, and no firearm was found on scene.
Pollock was cleared of any criminal wrongdoing related to the incident.
A press release from the office of Hamden’s mayor said the town has been in contact with Eaton’s union representative regarding his employment status with the town. That representative said Eaton intends to comply with the terms of his plea agreement and immediately resign from employment with the Town of Hamden.
His resignation is expected by the close of business Friday.
Eaton’s sentencing is scheduled for April 8.