Oct 25, 2018

Second man charged in homicide of Southington cult leader pleads not guilty

Lauren Sellew
October 25, 2018

The second man charged in the 2004 homicide and dismemberment of a Southington cult leader has pleaded not guilty.

Sorek Minery, 42, of 225 Covey Road, Burlington, was charged with murder and felony murder in the homicide earlier this year. He appeared in New Britain Superior Court on Wednesday and pleaded not guilty to the charges, according to the state judicial website. 

Rudy Hannon, 72, was also charged with murder and felony murder. He pleaded not guilty to the charges in August. 

Southington man Paul Sweetman was “the chief apostle” in the religious cult “The Work,” which was led by Brother Julius and based in Meriden. 

He was reported missing by his wife on July 24, 2004, according to Hannon’s arrest warrant. On Aug. 27, 2004 New Britain police responded to the Shuttle Meadow Country Club for a report of human remains found. 

On April 20, 2016, New Britain police linked the 2004 missing person report to the remains found at the golf course, noting that Sweetman lived about 10 miles away from where the leg was found. Local police learned that the FBI had previously developed information that Sweetman was killed and dismembered in New Britain.

Police also learned that in 2006 Hannon was interviewed by FBI agents and shared intimate knowledge of the killing.

Police interviewed Minery on Oct. 20, 2016. He told officers that he, Sweetman and Hannon were all members of the same religious organization. In the months leading up to the homicide, Hannon was trying to convince Minery that Sweetman “needed to be killed because he was hurting his wife.”

Hannon and Minery remain held on $2 million bond. Minery is due back in court on Dec. 6 and Hannon is due back in court on Nov. 9. 


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