NEW LONDON, Conn. — Court documents show a man accused of fatally shooting his cousin in Connecticut told police the victim was spreading HIV through their Native American tribe.

James Armstrong was arraigned Monday in New London on a murder charge in the April death of 31-year-old Ralph Sebastian Sidberry. Court officials lowered bail, citing possible mental health issues.

The Day reported that both the victim and suspect are members of the Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation.

An affidavit says Armstrong told police Sidberry had been spreading HIV through the tribe. Tests showed Sidberry had neither HIV nor AIDS. The affidavit says a witness said Armstrong had been “decompensating mentally” over the past three years.

Armstrong’s attorney says a slug recovered by forensics might not match the gun seized by investigators at the scene.

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