BYOB chef killed in Hamden stabbing

Daniel Grosso

The Quinnipiac University community lost one of its own on Saturday after a fatal stabbing in Hamden.

Lavern Brown, a cook at BYOB Grill in Quinnipiac’s Mount Carmel Cafeteria, was found by police on the floor of his Hamden home around 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Police had responded to a call reporting a stabbing at Brown’s home. When they arrived they found Brown and rushed him to Yale-New Haven Hospital, where he underwent an emergency surgery for stab wounds to his chest. He died in the hospital shortly following the surgery.

According to Hamden police, officers were told a woman had ran from the crime scene when they arrived at the house. Police pursued and arrested Brown’s girlfriend, 51-year-old Rita Renee Johnson, charging her with his murder. Johnson appeared in court for arraignment on Tuesday, Oct. 2.

According the New Haven Register, Johnson’s bail was initially set at $500,000, but was raised to $750,000 due to her criminal history. Johnson’s family acknowledged she and Brown had argued before, and Brown’s family believes Saturday’s incident began when Brown refused to give Johnson money for drugs.

The Hamden Police Department Major Crimes Unit is still investigating Brown’s murder, but is viewing the incident as domestic violence.

Brown was 44 and leaves behind four children.

Chartwells could not comment on the situation because of the ongoing investigation.