Breaking News
More () »

Man accused of fatally stabbing girlfriend in Niantic accepts plea deal of serving 40 years in prison

The parents of the victim said they're still upset that Avery Hallbrooks was allowed to reject two plea deal offers before accepting a third.

NEW LONDON, Conn. — A man, who accepted a plea deal in the 2018 Niantic stabbing death of his girlfriend, was sentenced to 40 years in prison on Thursday. And the victim's family hopes this tragedy serves as a warning for others experiencing domestic violence.

The parents of the victim, Corina Rodriguez, 25, said they're still upset that Avery Hallbrooks, who was the victim's boyfriend, was allowed to reject two plea deal offers before accepting a third.

"Avery Halbrooks is a coward," said a sobbing Phil Rodriguez, the victim's father. "He shook this family to its core."

RELATED: 'I miss her' | Family calls for justice as sentencing approaches for suspect charged in daughter’s murder

In July, Hallbrooks, now 32, accepted a plea deal to serve 40 years in prison. Had he gone to trial, the judge told him, if convicted, he could receive up to 87 years. 

"As your honor is aware the victim in this case, Corina, was only 25 years old when she was fatally stabbed 47 times in the neck, hands, chest and body by her boyfriend," said Heather Rodriguez, the victim's mother.

Sign up for the FOX61 newsletters: Morning Forecast, Morning Headlines, Evening Headlines

Corina's parents, on their way home from a vacation the night she was killed, said she planned to leave Hallbrooks that night and he knew it.

"When you're planning on leaving, get help first," Heather Rodriguez said. "Don't just leave. We weren't home yet and she tried to do it on her own and he made sure that didn't happen."

The killing took place in the couple's motel room at Niantic's Starlight Inn, which has since been demolished. And Corina's father said looking back he should've paid closer attention to some signs.

"She was little by little disappearing from the dining room table, from gatherings," said Phil Rodriguez. "He took her away little by little."

RELATED: Former Trinity College undergraduate students suing for allegedly violating Title IX

Corina was the mother of three young boys when she was killed. Her youngest son, whose father is Hallbrooks, was just a year old at the time of her death.

"But if you ask who mommy is, he points to heaven or his heart or a picture and he knows who she is," Heather Rodriguez said.

Heather Rodriguez also noted her daughter was 16 weeks pregnant the night she was murdered. 

Tony Terzi is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at tterzi@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Have a story idea or something on your mind you want to share? We want to hear from you! Email us at newstips@fox61.com



Download the FOX61 News APP

iTunes: Click here to download

Google Play: Click here to download

Stream Live on ROKU: Add the channel from the ROKU store or by searching FOX61.

Steam Live on FIRE TV: Search ‘FOX61’ and click ‘Get’ to download.


Before You Leave, Check This Out