Stamford man accused of 'threatening' acts against key murder witness offered plea deal

Exterior, Stamford Courthouse, Sept. 20, 2019.

Exterior, Stamford Courthouse, Sept. 20, 2019.

Ned Gerard/Hearst Connecticut Media

STAMFORD — A city man accused of illegally recording and photographing a key witness’s testimony in a recent murder trial and posting it online in a “threatening” manner was offered a plea deal that allows him avoid five years in prison.

Victor Cruz, 26, was arrested on July 14 on charges of second-degree harassment and violation of probation after state police said he was  photographing and videotaping segments of the testimony of the state’s key witness, Tyrik Gill, during the murder trial of Sirus Dixon.

He then allegedly posted them to social media in the hopes of causing “terror, intimidation, or alarm,” police said.

Cruz is on probation for his conviction for criminal possession of a firearm in 2017 and could face five years in prison for violating his probation terms.

But state prosecutors have said they are willing to grant Cruz one more opportunity to go back on probation and avoid serious prison time.

Assistant State’s Attorney Elizabeth Moran offered Cruz a deal: Cruz would plead guilty to second-degree harassment; in return, he would serve 90 days in prison and be returned to probation following the jail stint.

Moran said Cruz has until Oct. 25, his next court date, to decide whether to accept the offer.

According to the arrest warrant, state police said Cruz identifies as a member of a group of Stamford residents from the Connecticut Avenue and Myano Lane area that is aligned with the Crips. Prosecutors claim Dixon is aligned with the same group, which they allege is part of his motive in the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Antonio Robinson in May 2018.

In the warrant, state police said Cruz posted photos and videos from inside the courtroom as Gill, the eyewitness to the fatal shooting of Robinson in 2018 and a “critical” witness for the state, testified.

The posts, state police wrote, were accompanied by a caption reading, “Free 8 star witness ty Gil showed out today.” Stamford police say Dixon is known as “8” or “Ocho” by people close to him.

Dixon was later convicted of first-degree manslaughter with a firearm in the shooting. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 20. He faces up to 40 years in prison.