Former Easton volunteer firefighter pleads not guilty to charges in Fairfield fatal hit-and-run

A 22-year-old former Easton volunteer firefighter pleaded not guilty Wednesday in a fatal hit-and-run that happened on the Fourth of July in Fairfield.

News 12 Staff

Jul 15, 2020, 10:03 AM

Updated 1,429 days ago

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A 22-year-old former Easton volunteer firefighter pleaded not guilty Wednesday in a fatal hit-and-run that happened on the Fourth of July in Fairfield.
Declan Kot was arraigned in Bridgeport court, charged with seven offenses, following his arrest last week. The prosecutor told the judge that there is a strong possibility the state will add a manslaughter charge because of the strong evidence he'd been drinking.
 
He pleaded not guilty to charges including felony misconduct with a motor vehicle, evading responsibility in operating a motor vehicle resulting in death and tampering with evidence.
Fairfield police say on the evening of July 4, he drove his truck into 32-year-old Marileidy Morel Araujo on Redding Road, without stopping, and then tried to cover it up. According to the newly released arrest warrant, Kot told police he had six alcoholic drinks on a friend's boat earlier in the day.
 
Police recovered a text message sent to a friend in which Kot wrote he was "hammered," adding his girlfriend had to drive his truck back to her house while he slept it off. They say Kot later dropped her off at a party in Fairfield, then headed home, hitting Morel Araujo with his passenger side mirror.
She had been visiting her fiancé's family from Pennsylvania and was taking their dog for a walk.
The force caused Morel Araujo to fall forward onto the pavement. Kot told police he thought he'd hit a tree branch at the time, though police say that area of the road doesn't have any trees.
The arrest warrant shows Kot bought a new passenger side mirror for his truck, and lied to the store clerk about what caused the damage. Police also say debris at the scene and a neighbor's surveillance video led them to interview Kot.
 
"I'm really not going to comment on the case at all," says his attorney. "You know, we're going to take it one step at a time. We'll be getting more and more information about the case as the case progresses."
Kot has been out on bond under the condition he can't drive. He will be back in court July 30.


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