A request for a cigarette outside the community center at the Branford Manor apartment complex in Groton led to the identification and capture of accused murderer Louis M. Seignious Jr. Saturday night.
Seignious is accused of fatally shooting his cousin at point-blank range in the doorway of a Marriot Avenue residence in Westerly last Saturday.
Westerly Police Chief Shawn Lacey said the woman, who was on the phone while smoking, immediately recognized Seignious while outside the community center, where a child's birthday party was taking place. She rejected his request, then immediately got off the phone and called 911.
"When Groton arrived, an officer saw someone fitting the description go into an apartment. While checking the apartment, they found he had gone into the attic, which covered 4 apartments," Lacey said in an email, which was sent to the Westerly Town Manager and members of the Town Council following his arrest.
Seignious, 31, of Norwich, was charged as a fugitive from justice on a Rhode Island count of first-degree murder as well as on charges of interfering with police and two counts of first-degree criminal mischief in Connecticut.
He is currently being held in lieu of a $1 million bond and is expected to appear in New London Superior Court Monday for arraignment.
Lacey said the state would seek to extradite him following arraignment or would seek to obtain a governor's warrant should he choose not to waive his right to extradition.
According to a press release from the City of Groton Police Department, the 31-year-old was arrested around 5 p.m. after police responded to the tip. The agency said Seignious had attempted to evade officers by first climbing into an attic area and then entering a heating duct.
The police evacuated three of the four apartments and were clearing the last when he fell through the duct and sheetrock into a bedroom in the apartment that police were checking. He was arrested without further incident.
The arrest came almost exactly one week after Westerly police said Seignious shot 28-year-old Vincent A. Sebastian, of Ledyard, in the chest following a brief argument between the two in the doorway of the Marriot Avenue apartment. Sebastian was pronounced dead at the scene.
Seignious fled town and got out of his car in Ledyard, where he eluded Mashantucket Tribal Police, who had been in pursuit.
A preliminary investigation determined that Sebastian, who the police said had an active relationship with a woman who lived at the address, was there with the woman, three children age 10 and under, and another man when Seignious arrived at the home.
Seignious had a child with a woman in the Marriott Avenue apartment, the police said, and the shooting was considered to be a domestic crime. Both men are members of the Mashantucket Pequot tribe.