A Romanian citizen has been sentenced to more than a decade in prison for a 2007 home invasion in Kent. 41-year old Alexandru Nicolescu was sentenced yesterday to 121 months in prison. The U-S Attorney's Office reports that Nicolescu and Emanuel Nicolescu, who are not related, and another individual, wearing masks and brandishing knives and firearms, entered a home in South Kent.
They ordered the victims to pay $8.5 million or they would be left to die from a lethal injection. New York socialite Anne Bass and her long-time partner weren't able to pay, and were drugged with a sleeping aid.
Alexandru Nicolescu fled the U.S. the following day. He has been detained since November 2013, when he was arrested in the United Kingdom where he was residing. He unsuccessfully contested his extradition and was transported to the U.S. On January 8, 2016, he pleaded guilty to one count of attempted extortion and one count of conspiracy to commit extortion.
The three fled in the homeowner's Jeep. The stolen Jeep was found abandoned the next morning in New Rochelle. A few days later, an accordion case washed ashore in Jamaica Bay containing a stun gun, a 12-inch knife, a black plastic Airsoft gun, a crowbar, syringes, sleeping pills, latex gloves, and a laminated telephone card with the South Kent address of the victims.
In 2010, a newly assigned investigator from the Connecticut State Police made the connection that matched a partial Pennsylvania license plate, seen by a witness near the victims’ estate on the night of the crime, to a car owned by Michael Kennedy, who formerly shared an address with Emmanuel Nicolescu, who had been employed by the victim. Kennedy’s father was a professional accordion player, and witnesses later identified the knife in the accordion case as a gift given to Emanuel Nicolescu by his father-in-law.
On the night of April 15, 2007, Kennedy drove Emanuel Nicolescu, Alexandru Nicolescu and Stefan Alexandru Barabas to a location in the vicinity of the South Kent home, and then picked them up the following morning in New Rochelle at the location where the intruders abandoned the stolen Jeep.
Emanuel Nicolescu was arrested in Illinois on January 23, 2011. On March 22, 2012, a jury in New Haven found him guilty of attempted extortion, conspiracy to commit extortion, and possession of a stolen vehicle. On August 17, 2012, he was sentenced to 240 months of imprisonment.
Kennedy, also known as Nicolae Helerea, a citizen of Romania, voluntarily returned to the U.S. from Romania and, on November 5, 2012, pleaded guilty to one count of attempted extortion and one count of conspiracy to commit extortion. On May 4, 2016, he was sentenced to 48 months of imprisonment.
Stefan Barabas has been charged in connection with this case and is currently being sought. The FBI is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to his arrest. Charges are only allegations, and he is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.