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He Stabbed A Jogger To Death On A Connecticut Trail And Got Away With It. Until He Found Religion And Confessed

Source: Simsbury police; MEGA

May 21 2022, Published 8:52 a.m. ET

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After four years, a Connecticut man turned himself in to authorities and confessed to a cold case murder. Now, he will remain behind bars for more than three decades.

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On May 3, Hartford Superior Court Judge David P. Gold handed William W. Leverett 35 years in prison for the stabbing death of Melissa Millan. Leverett pleaded guilty to murder after he walked into a Simsbury Police station and confessed to the crime.

According to prosecutors, Millan routinely jogged through the Simsbury Greenway trail. However, on the night of Nov. 20, 2014, the 54-year-old former insurance executive was jogging when Leverett accosted her. The defendant told investigators he sought human contact and felt lonely after attending a sex offender therapy session.

Leverett was previously convicted in Colorado of sexual assault on a child in 2011.

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He told investigators he took a kitchen knife he had bought for his grandmother and wore a pair of gloves as he left his car. Leverett’s motive stemmed from his belief Milan would reject his advance. At first, Leverett claimed he tried talking to her; instead, he freaked out and stabbed her.

There were no connections established between the defendant and the mother of two.


An autopsy determined Milan’s death was due to a single stab wound to the chest. Later, the case went cold after authorities ran out of leads and no person of interest.

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In 2018, Leverett, who had been diagnosed with mild autism, found faith and decided to confess to the killing. Though investigators were skeptical at first, the defendant recalled details about the murder that was never released to the public.

Millan’s children addressed the court in a statement during the sentencing hearing.

“I am afraid of being alone outside at night. Hers was the shoulder I would cry on, and hers is the wisdom I want in my life,” stated Millan’s son, Zachary Hodkin, according to Journal Inquirer.

The judge sentenced Leverett to additional seven years’ special parole.


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