The man accused of killing a 79-year-old Middlebury man faced a judge on Thursday.
Police say Steven Brockett, 44, of Waterbury, murdered Isidore Ellin.
He was arrested on Wednesday and charged with murder, first-degree robbery and assault on an elderly person.
Brockett has an extensive criminal history, with 27 convictions, including eight for felony offenses.
Police found Ellin's body at 6:22 a.m. on Tuesday when they responded to 41 Tower Road and medics pronounced him dead. Major crimes detectives responded to assist per the Middlebury Police Department's request and processed the scene, taking over the investigation.
Ellin, who was well known in the community. died of blunt force trauma to the head, according to the state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
State police said the assailant stole money from Ellin and used a "weapon of opportunity" to kill him.
"There was a large amount of blood. Anytime someone is found expired outside of their home, and other details I can't get into because it's an ongoing investigation," Middlebury Police Chief James Viadero said.
Middlebury police said the homicide wasn't random. He was targeted and the attacker knew him well, according to police.
A family friend told NBC Connecticut that Ellin hired Brockett as a handyman.
State police said they called Brockett to the Troop A barracks as a witness and developed evidence pointing to him as a suspect, according to Trooper Kelly Grant, a spokesperson for the State Police.
Brockett cooperated with investigators.
The Western District Major Crime squad applied for a warrant in Waterbury Superior Court and took him into custody at 6 p.m on Wednesday., Grant said.
On Thursday, a judge kept Brockett's bond at $750,000.
He is due back in court on Dec. 3.
Sharon Sperling, a friend speaking on behalf of the victim's family, said, "The family is grieving and making funeral arrangements. They want to express their thanks to local and state police for all that they are doing."
According to the obituary for Ellin, he had four children and three grandchildren and was a physics professor, as well as an entrepreneur.
The last homicide in Middlebury was around 20 years ago, on the same road. Police said it was a domestic incident.
State police ask anyone with information to contact the State Police Major Crime Squad at Troop A at 203-267-2200 or the Middlebury Police Department at 203-577-4028. Calls will remain confidential.