Father of Sandy Hook victim faces criminal charges

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Neil Heslin

Neil Heslin, father of Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victim Jesse Lewis, holds picture of himself with his son while testifying before US Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on 2013 Assault Weapons Ban, Washington, DC. (AP Photo)

MILFORD, Conn. (AP) — A man whose 6-year-old son was among those killed in the Newtown, Conn., elementary school massacre was scheduled to appear in Connecticut Superior Court Wednesday on larceny and other charges.

Neil Heslin, who has lobbied Congress and the Connecticut legislature for increased gun control in the wake of the shooting, had five separate cases listed on the docket in Milford Superior Court.

The News-Times of Danbury reports Heslin faces charges that date back to July 2011, three of which involve allegations he issued bad checks to purchase building materials for his construction company.

The two other cases involve checks on closed accounts that Heslin allegedly used to pay for just over $1,000 worth of home heating oil in June 2012 and a check for $102.35 worth of repairs to his vehicle at an Ansonia tire shop six months earlier, the newspaper reported.

Heslin, who has pleaded not guilty to all the charges, referred questions about the case to his attorneys, who did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

Heslin’s son, Jesse Lewis, was among 26 people shot to death inside Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14.

Since then, Heslin has been among the most visible of the Sandy Hook parents lobbying for gun restrictions, including an appearance in Washington that apparently resulted in him missing a recent court date.

Superior Court Judge Frank Iannotti has ordered Heslin to explain Wednesday why he was not in court on April 15.

Heslin was part of a contingent from Newtown that was meeting with U.S. senators that week, asking them to pass legislation that would have included universal background checks for gun purchases.

Heslin was asked by the News-Times if he thought his legal troubles might undermine his advocacy efforts.

“I never gave it much thought. I guess you can look at it either way,” he told the newspaper. “If there’s something to talk about, people are going to talk about it, good or bad, no matter what.”

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