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Police: Hartford Man Fabricated Evidence in Cop-Killing Probe

Darien police said a Hartford man falsely claimed to have evidence of someone bragging that they had information on the 1981 shooting death of Police Officer Kenneth Bateman.

Darien police, investigating the 1981 shooting death of Officer Kenneth Bateman, arrested a Hartford man who police said had confessed to fabricating evidence about someone who bragged he had information about the killing.

Police gave this account of the incident and arrest:

Jeffrey Romanchuck, 50, had been interviewed numerous times in the past about the incident, but his inormation "never proved to be reliable," according to a news release from Detective Mark Cappelli.

On July 1, Romanchuck contacted Darien police and told them he had had a conversation with a person who was bragging about having information about the shooting.

Romanchuck said he had recorded the conversation on his cell phone and wanted to pass on that information to police.

But when Darien police investigated further, they proved that the recording was bogus, and Romanchuck eventually admitted that he had fabricated the information and the recording.

"It is unclear what Romanchuck’s motive was for fabricating the story," Cappelli said in the news release.

Romanchuck was charged with interfering with an officer and fabricating evidence.

Update 2:35 p.m.: Romanchuck was released on $5,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear Nov. 27 in state Superior Court in Stamford.

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