A onetime GOP elections official and landlord in Connecticut who is charged with fatally gunning down a tenant earlier this year is now free on bond — at least for the pendency of trial proceedings.
Ellen Wink, 61, hails from Norwalk and stands accused of murdering 54-year-old Kurt Lametta on Jan. 20, 2022 by repeatedly shooting him inside the property he rented from her.
“She’s been in jail for seven months so obviously it’s a great relief for her,” Wink’s attorney Stephan Seeger said in comments to regional cable channel News12 Connecticut. “I think the decision which precipitated her release was a fair one. And we have to take steps now to start preparing for trial.”
As Law&Crime previously reported, the defendant’s bond was originally set at $1 million; that amount was raised significantly to $2.5 million after Judge Gary White watched a cellular phone video of the shooting that the court described as “quite graphic.” The state had originally asked for $5 million bond – framing the video as proof-positive evidence that Wink had committed a cold-blooded murder.
Supervisory State’s Attorney Michelle Manning offered a run-down of the video from the state’s perspective in February of this year.
The prosecutor has characterized Wink as the known aggressor in the matter and said the entire spate of violence was captured because “the victim in this case had recorded — pressed record on his cell phone — the moment Ms. Wink entered the premises.”
The video completely belies any self-defense claim. It starts and indicates — it shows, very clearly, a conversation between Mr. Lametta and Ms. Wink — at which point in no way, shape, or form, does the victim come after Ms. Wink. Around three minutes into the video she turns to him, fires a gun, and starts shooting. The victim in the video tries to run away from her, and it’s very clear she follows. It’s also very clear in the video that she picks up the cell phone and threw it outside.
Wink, for her part, has claimed self-defense and made the initial 911 call after the shooting, allegedly telling the dispatcher that Lametta “was after me,” according to a Norwalk Police report.
“She said, ‘I am so tired of this guy, he is on the floor,'” Detective John Sura wrote. “She said that she had kept telling him to get out and had enough. Wink continued rambling about issues Kurt Lametta caused.”
In July of this year, the defense provided audio they claimed supports the self-defense claim in order to reduce the $2.5 million bond amount, according to The Hour. That effort, however, did not succeed.
At the time the new bond amount was decided upon, Wink’s defense attorney Stephan Seeger told News12’s Marissa Alter that his client simply didn’t have the money to be released. Upon hearing the large sum, the defendant herself slumped down into her chair, closed her eyes, and raised her face to the ceiling – qualifying the courtroom loss.
But since then, things have apparently changed.
Outfitted with an ankle monitor and subject to strict conditions of release, according to News12, Wink was able to pay 10% of $2.5 million and will now be largely under house arrest as she prepares her defense. She’ll reportedly be living in the same premises where she shot and killed Lametta.
BREAKING: Former Norwalk official Ellen Wink has been released on bond after more than seven months in custody. Wink is charged with murder in the deadly shooting of tenant Kurt Lametta in January. @News12CT pic.twitter.com/tpNNrzsQwO
— Marissa Alter (@MarissaAlter) September 2, 2022
“We’ve argued countless number of times Miss Wink is not a danger to the community,” Seeger told the TV station. “She has a reputation in the community for doing great things including putting flowers on top of the gravestones of fallen servicemen, so I don’t think she poses a risk to the community.”
Wink, who was the Republican deputy registrar for Norwalk when she was arrested, lost her job immediately after being charged. She and Lametta had a long history of discord after he stopped paying rent sometime around September 2020 during the pandemic.
The landlord, however, was previously arrested in September 2021 for locking Lametta out of his residence and throwing away many of his belongings. That case was still pending when he died.
Wink was at one point quoted as saying that Lametta was “(expletive) driving me nuts.”
[image via the Law&Crime Network]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]