By Richard Weizel
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (Reuters) - A Connecticut man was formally charged on Tuesday with murdering his parents, three months after they disappeared and days after their dismembered bodies were found buried in a suburban backyard not far from where they once lived.
State prosecutors contend that Kyle Navin, 27, plotted with his girlfriend to kill his parents, Jeffrey Navin, 56, and Jeanette Navin, 55, after learning they planned to cut him out of their will and sell the trash-hauling company they owned, where he worked as an operations manager.
The younger Navin was arrested in early September on a federal gun charge and has since been in custody as authorities probed what had happened to his parents, who disappeared in early August.
He did not enter a plea or speak during a brief appearance in Superior Court in Bridgeport, where he appeared in handcuffs and leg shackles.
"This arraignment today is just the start of a long legal process and no one should rush to judgment before all the evidence is presented," his attorney, Eugene Riccio, told reporters after the hearing.
Superior Court Judge William Holden set bail of $2.5 million for Navin and scheduled his next court appearance for Nov. 24 – the same day Navin's live-in girlfriend, Jennifer Valiante, will be arraigned for conspiracy charges related to the double murder.
Valiante, 31, is being held on a $2 million bond.
Navin and Valiante discussed killing his parents in text messages, according to arrest affidavits. Their exchange indicated Navin had been desperate for money because of a heroin addiction that cost up to $600 a day and angry over his parents' plans to sell a garbage disposal business, J&J Refuse, where he was operations manager, the affidavits said.
"You know if they 'went away,' we could take over J&J," Navin texted to Valiante on July 14, just three weeks before his parents' disappearance.
In another text Navin stated his plan would "solve every single problem and give us a wealthy amazing life."
Valiante responded: "I hear ya. It sounds very good," according to the affidavits.
Blood found in a family vehicle and in the basement of his Bridgeport house, which his parents bought for him, link Navin to both killings, according to court documents.
(Editing by Scott Malone and Peter Cooney)