Judge denies bond reduction for ex-Norwalk official charged with murder; cites ‘extremely graphic’ video
An ex-Norwalk city official accused of killing a tenant will remain in custody on a $2.5 million bond. On Wednesday, Judge Gary White denied a request by Ellen Wink's attorney to lower her bond back to the original amount of $1 million, citing the cellphone video the victim recorded of his own death.
"I saw the video. Again, it's extremely graphic. Your client is on video shooting the victim multiple times,” White said after ruling bond would stay as is. “The state's case is very strong.”
The decision came after a hearing where attorney Stephan Seeger told the court he’d obtained new evidence that bolsters Wink’s self-defense claims. Wink is charged with murder in the deadly shooting of Kurt Lametta at 16 Nelson Ave., a property Wink owned, on Jan. 20. The two had a contentious relationship after Lametta allegedly stopped paying rent.
“This is not the open and shut case the state says it is,” Seeger told the court. He said he’d obtained an audio recording from another tenant of Lametta making threats against Wink and using homophobic and antisemitic language.
“The type of person who says that is a person who at a minimum—and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to sort of realize this—that people would be afraid of,” Seeger argued. “The fear factor in Ms. Wink's case is important because in the context of a self-defense case, it’s very relevant what's going on in Ms. Wink’s mind at the time of the shooting.”
Assistant State's Attorney Michelle Manning questioned the audio's reliability, calling it “a character assassination of a dead man.” Manning also countered that the clip just had words, not actions, unlike the video the state recovered from Lametta's phone. Manning said it shows Lametta didn’t come at Wink before the shooting, which is what she told police. The footage led Manning to seek a bond increase in February, arguing the video dispelled this was self-defense. She reiterated that Wednesday.
“His response in that video is to turn from the fridge door…and say, ‘You can’t be nice?’ And she said, ‘I'll show you nice,’ and shoots him five times,” Manning told the court. “There is clearly, in the state's view, evidence that Ms. Wink is dangerous, and that's what we're here for today. She is a dangerous individual who acts out on her feelings.” Manning added that she still stands by her initial request to raise bond to $5 million to keep the community safe.
At one point, the judge admonished Wink for shaking her head no and mouthing the words “not true” while Manning spoke. White decided to keep bond as is, which Seeger called “disappointing.”
“If you look at bonds across the country right now for murder cases, what can I say? I guess only in Connecticut $2.5 million bond from $1 million because of a ‘graphic video,” he told News 12 after court. “I think it's unfair, and we're going to be seeking whatever legal remedies she has to address this point.” Seeger said that may mean asking the appellate court to review Wink’s bond. He also requested White consider a 10% cash bond since Wink is trying to sell properties she owns. The judge said he’d take the request up if the sales happen.
Wink and Lametta had ongoing issues with one search warrant mentioning police were called four times over the previous five months because of disputes between them. In September 2021, Wink was arrested after she allegedly locked Lametta out of the house and threw all his belongings out at the dump. That case is still pending and has been sealed.
Wink was the Republican deputy registrar for the City of Norwalk but was fired after being charged with murder. She has not entered a plea yet. She is scheduled to be back in court Sept. 14.