UConn student fugitive in court, charged with murder

This photo, provided by the Connecticut State Police, Friday, June 12, 2020, shows Peter Manfredonia. Manfredonia, 23, a University of Connecticut student who police say used a machete to kill a man and fatally shot a woman, then spent six days as a fugitive until he was arrested in Maryland, will be arraigned Friday on a murder charge, authorities said. (Connecticut State Police via AP)

HARTFORD, Conn. – A University of Connecticut student, who is accused of killing two men and committing numerous other crimes while leading authorities on a six-day search, was arraigned Friday on murder and other charges.

Peter Manfredonia, 23, was ordered held on a $7 million bond for charges stemming from the May 22 death of Ted DeMers and a home invasion. Police have not yet brought charges in the second killing. Manfredonia was also put on suicide watch.

His attorney, Michael Dolan, declined to comment other than to say that Manfredonia's family was not prepared to post such a high bond. Manfredonia has not yet entered a plea.

Manfredonia, who appeared from a holding cell via video conference, was brought to Connecticut early Friday from Maryland, where he was taken into custody on May 27. He is charged with murder, criminal attempt to commit murder, assault, home invasion, kidnapping with a firearm, robbery, larceny, stealing a firearm and assault on an elderly person.

Cyndi DeMers, the victim’s wife, has said Manfredonia was looking for a young woman whose family said it had been considering taking out a retraining order against him when he came walking down the road in front of their home. Her husband offered him a ride back to his motorcycle, which he had left down the road, she said.

Once back at the bike, there was a confrontation in which DeMers was killed with a machete and an 80-year-old neighbor was seriously injured after coming to DeMers’ aid, Cyndi DeMers said.

According to state police, the University of Connecticut senior then went to another man’s home, held him hostage, stole his guns and truck and drove about 70 miles (110 kilometers) southwest to Derby.

Superior Court Judge Hope Seeley set bail at $5 million for the murder charge and $2 million for the subsequent home invasion. She ordered the arrest warrant sealed for two weeks.