MASTIC / Court rejects guilty plea in slaying
A state appeals court has thrown out the guilty plea of a Port Jefferson Station man who had admitted killing a North Carolina man at a Mastic home and raping a woman who was present during the slaying.
Tomas Peck, 28, was not told before pleading guilty last year in State Supreme Court in Riverhead that he would be on probation after serving his prison sentence, the Appellate Division of the State Supreme Court said in a Nov. 30 decision.
"Therefore, the judgment must be reversed and the plea must be vacated," the appeals court said.
It was unclear from the court's decision who had failed to tell Peck he would be on probation, which is mandatory in such cases.
A spokesman for the Suffolk district attorney's office said last night the appeals court's decision "is still being reviewed."
Peck's attorneys could not be reached for comment.
In April 2009, State Supreme Court Justice Robert W. Doyle sentenced Peck to 25 years to life in prison after Peck pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, first-degree rape and first-degree criminal sexual act.
Prosecutors said Peck stabbed to death Tyrone Terry, 21, on Feb. 10, 2008, at the home of a Mastic woman. Terry, a correction officer from Henderson, N.C., had been visiting the woman. After stabbing Terry, Peck raped the woman twice, prosecutors said.
- CARL MACGOWAN
LINDENHURST / Cops: Man found dead was shot
A man found dead on a staircase in a house in Lindenhurst was shot to death, police said Tuesday.
Suffolk County police have not made any arrests in the death of Alex Polanco, 46, who police said was found by his landlord on a flight of stairs inside his apartment on Wyona Road at 6:08 p.m. Monday.
Investigators originally believed the case might not be suspicious, but said an autopsy revealed the bullet hole.
Police said the shooting was not a suicide.
It was not immediately clear when police believe Polanco was shot - or how long he had been dead. Police said he was pronounced at the scene.
A man who described himself as a member of Polanco's family said relatives did not wish to comment.
The investigation by homicide detectives is continuing.
- JOHN VALENTI