Former UConn student gets probation for messages

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ROCKVILLE, Conn. (AP) -- A former University of Connecticut student has received probation after posting disturbing Internet messages about a football player's stabbing death.

Twenty-year-old Christopher Mutchler of Wethersfield avoided jail time and was granted special probation, known as accelerated rehabilitation, during proceedings Friday in Rockville Superior Court.

Prosecutors say Mutchler had "extensive" mental problems when he posted messages discouraging people from helping police investigate UConn football player Jasper Howard's stabbing death on campus in 2009.

A 22-year-old Bloomfield man is serving an 18-year prison sentence in Howard's death.

Authorities say Mutchler had no connection to anyone in the case. His record will be cleared if he completes his 18-month probation without incident.

Mutchler's attorney says the postings were "a stupid, wrong thing to do," and that his client is actually very intelligent.

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Information from: The Hartford Courant, http://www.courant.com