Crime

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Scott Appoints New Chittenden County State’s Attorney

Posted By on Thu, Jan 19, 2017 at 5:20 PM

Chittenden County State’s Attorney Sarah George - COURTESY: GOV. PHIL SCOTT’S OFFICE
  • Courtesy: Gov. Phil Scott’s office
  • Chittenden County State’s Attorney Sarah George
Gov. Phil Scott on Thursday appointed Sarah George, a Chittenden County deputy state’s attorney, to her office's top job.

“I view the position of State’s Attorney to be a non-partisan role, best filled by someone with a strong moral compass,” George, who has served as a deputy prosecutor since 2011, said in a prepared statement. “That is how I will approach this position, as I work to speak for — and fight on behalf of — victims and the community.”

George replaces former Chittenden County State’s Attorney T.J. Donovan, who won election as Attorney General in November. George will serve the remaining two years of Donovan’s four year term. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut and Vermont Law School.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

On Eve of Sexual Assault Trial, Former Senator McAllister Pleads No Contest

Posted By on Tue, Jan 10, 2017 at 6:43 PM

Norm McAllister in court Tuesday - FILE: POOL PHOTO/GREGORY J. LAMOUREUX/COUNTY COURIER
  • File: Pool Photo/Gregory J. Lamoureux/County Courier
  • Norm McAllister in court Tuesday
Norm McAllister pleaded no contest to two counts of prohibited acts and to a charge of lewd and lascivious behavior late Tuesday, on the eve of a trial that had been set to start the next morning.

The former Republican state senator from Franklin County was released on bail and will be sentenced at a later date. He could be sentenced to up to seven years in jail. McAllister will undergo a psychosexual evaluation with the Department of Corrections before sentencing.

McAllister must register as a sex offender.

The deal came shortly before 5 p.m., after a jury had been selected for his trial and most of the people in the courthouse earlier had gone home.

McAllister responded soberly to Judge Martin Maley’s questions about his pleas and three times announced “no contest.” He left the courtroom without responding to a request for comment.

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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Shumlin Issues Nearly 200 Marijuana Pardons

Posted By on Tue, Jan 3, 2017 at 3:04 PM

Gov. Peter Shumlin - FILE PHOTO
  • file photo
  • Gov. Peter Shumlin
Gov. Peter Shumlin issued 192 pardons on Tuesday to people convicted of misdemeanor marijuana possession, saying that individuals should not face lifelong consequences for the “minor” crime.

The recipients were culled from a group of about 450 people who submitted applications after Shumlin announced in December that he would consider such pardons before he leaves office on Thursday.

Shumlin has advocated for marijuana legalization and in 2013 signed a law that decriminalized possession of up to one ounce of marijuana.

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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Notable Names Included on Shumlin’s Pardon List

Posted By on Sat, Dec 31, 2016 at 1:47 PM

Gov. Peter Shumlin at the Statehouse - FILE: PAUL HEINTZ
  • File: Paul Heintz
  • Gov. Peter Shumlin at the Statehouse
Updated 5:30 p.m.

Gov. Peter Shumlin released on Saturday a list of 10 year-end gubernatorial pardons that include a pair of notable political names: John Zaccaro Jr. and Richard Mallary Jr.

Zaccaro is the son of the late Geraldine Ferraro, a former Democratic congresswoman from New York and candidate for vice president in 1984. Mallary is the son of the late congressman Richard Mallary, a Vermont Republican.

Saturday’s pardons are separate from Shumlin’s offer of clemency for those convicted of minor marijuana offenses, although five of the 10 were convicted of marijuana charges. The number of pardons is also notable: Before Saturday, according to a press release from Shumlin, the governor had issued a mere six pardons in his six years in office.

“I believe in second chances, and I believe we as a society will continue to move towards a more sensible approach to drug addiction and criminal justice,” Shumlin said in a statement. He added that the pardons would “help relieve what can essentially amount a life sentence of burden and stigma.”

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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Anti-Semitic Flyers Left in City Hall Cause a Stir

Posted By on Tue, Dec 20, 2016 at 10:34 AM

Police Chief Brandon del Pozo and Mayor Miro Weinberger - FILE: TERRI HALLENBECK
  • File: TERRI HALLENBECK
  • Police Chief Brandon del Pozo and Mayor Miro Weinberger
Updated at 3:20 p.m.

Burlington police say anti-Semitic flyers distributed at Burlington City Hall Auditorium before Monday night’s city council meeting were the work of a woman believed to suffer from mental illness.

The woman, whose name was not released, has engaged in similar activity in the past, police said. The flyers will not be investigated as a crime. Instead, police said they will work with the Howard Center’s Street Outreach team to refer the woman for treatment.

The document portrays recent events in Burlington, including the Burlington Town Center redevelopment and the construction of dorms for Champlain College students, as part of a Zionist plot to commit a “White Christian genocide” at the behest of Mayor Miro Weinberger.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Shelburne Police Investigate Counterfeit Bill Passed at Local Shop

Posted By on Tue, Dec 6, 2016 at 2:24 PM

This Seven Days file illustration highlights security features in a $100 note. 1. Watermark  2. Color-shifting ink  3. Security thread  4. 3D security ribbon  5. Serial numbers  6. Federal Reserve indicators   7. Note position and number   8. Face plate number    9. Series year   10. Back plate number (not shown) - FILE IMAGE
  • File image
  • This Seven Days file illustration highlights security features in a $100 note. 1. Watermark  2. Color-shifting ink  3. Security thread  4. 3D security ribbon  5. Serial numbers  6. Federal Reserve indicators  7. Note position and number  8. Face plate number   9. Series year  10. Back plate number (not shown)
Shelburne police say they are investigating what can be a holiday season problem: passing counterfeit money.

Tracy Stolese, who owns the home decor boutique Arabesque, said that she made a routine deposit from her weekend sales at Citizens Bank when a bank official told her that one of the $20 bills she gave them was a fake.

Stolese said that the bill was a bit blurry and more rigid than typical bills. But with traffic picking up for the holiday shopping season, a store clerk didn't detect anything amiss when it was handed off over the weekend, Stolese said.

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Friday, November 4, 2016

Judge Criticizes Burlington Police Stop, Search of Black Man

Posted By on Fri, Nov 4, 2016 at 1:15 PM

OLIVER PARINI
  • Oliver parini
In response to studies showing disparities in how minorities are treated by law enforcement, police in Burlington and across the state have vowed to work towards eliminating racial bias in policing. A recent case in Chittenden Superior Court suggests that there’s still room to improve.

Last week, Judge Dennis Pearson tossed charges against Danny Connors, a 49-year-old black Burlington resident, after deciding the stop and search that led to his drug arrest was unconstitutional.

“How many different ways did this stop and frisk of the defendant violate basic constitutional principles?” Pearson wrote sarcastically in his October 24 decision.

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Monday, October 24, 2016

Vermont ACLU Argues KKK Fliers Are Protected Speech

Posted By on Mon, Oct 24, 2016 at 6:59 PM

William D. Schenk - BURLINGTON POLICE
  • Burlington Police
  • William D. Schenk
The Vermont chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has filed paperwork with the Vermont Supreme Court opposing the prosecution of a man accused of leaving Ku Klux Klan recruitment fliers at the homes of two minority women in Burlington last year.

The ACLU, in an amicus brief, said William D. Schenk should not be prosecuted because "the government seeks to punish Schenk based solely on the content of his speech." 

Schenk, 22, pleaded no contest in April to two misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct on the condition that he could appeal a judge's decision to not dismiss the charges. A hearing at the Vermont Supreme Court has not been scheduled.

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Friday, October 21, 2016

Bourgoin Discharged From Hospital, Held in Prison

Posted By on Fri, Oct 21, 2016 at 11:02 AM

Steven Bourgoin being wheeled into his arraignment at the UVM Medical Center last week - FILE: GLENN RUSSELL/BURLINGTON FREE PRESS
  • File: Glenn Russell/Burlington Free Press
  • Steven Bourgoin being wheeled into his arraignment at the UVM Medical Center last week
Steven Bourgoin, the man charged with second-degree murder for a car crash that killed five high school students, was discharged from the hospital Thursday. He was being held without bail at the Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield.

Bourgoin, 36, had been a patient at the University of Vermont Medical Center since October 9. On October 14, he pleaded not guilty to five murder charges and two charges related to stealing a police cruiser. His arraignment was held in makeshift courtroom at the hospital.

Prosecutors say Bourgoin was driving in the wrong direction on Interstate 89 on the night of October 8 when he crashed into a car, killing Eli Brookens, 16, of Waterbury; Janie Chase Cozzi, 15, of Fayston; Liam Hale, 16, of Fayston; Mary Harris, 16, of Moretown; and Cyrus Zschau, 16, of Moretown.

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Monday, October 17, 2016

Howard Center Had No Contact With Accused Wrong-Way Driver

Posted By on Mon, Oct 17, 2016 at 6:14 PM

Steven Bourgoin is wheeled into his arraignment at the UVM Medical Center Friday morning. - GLENN RUSSELL/BURLINGTON FREE PRESS
  • Glenn Russell/Burlington Free Press
  • Steven Bourgoin is wheeled into his arraignment at the UVM Medical Center Friday morning.
The Howard Center on Monday said it was never contacted to evaluate Steven Bourgoin in the hours before he was involved in a head-on crash that killed five teens, contradicting previous statements from law enforcement officials.

Initial law enforcement statements indicated that the mental health provider was called after Bourgoin, 36, of Williston, showed up at an emergency room hours before the fatal collision.

But in a statement released Monday afternoon, the Howard Center said that an internal investigation, including a review of phone and electronic records and interviews with staffers, showed that it was "not contacted to evaluate, assess, or screen this individual on the day of the crash nor at any other time prior to this incident."

The statement said that Bourgoin was not a Howard Center client, and that no organization had sent the Howard Center a referral on his behalf.

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