Category Archives: Court

Feds have three in custody in grandmother kidnapping, documents say

BURLINGTON — Documents filed by the U.S. Attorney’s office allege three men had a role in the 2010 abduction and killing of a Sheffield grandmother.
The three, who are related, are in federal or state custody on charges unrelated to the killing of 78-year-old Mary “Pat” O’Hagan. No one has been charged in connection with her death.
Hagan disappeared from her home in September 2010. Her body was found nearly a month later by hunters in a remote area 10 miles away.
The Burlington Free Press reports ( the court paperwork provides different reasons for the killing, such as robbery, and O’Hagan learning about meth being cooked at an abandoned home.
Lawyers for the men have declined to comment, or did not respond to messages seeking comment.

Man arrested after walking in the street to get police attention

A Bennington man was arrested Sunday night after nearly 10 phone and 9-1-1 calls about a man walking in the middle of the street causing a traffic hazard on Main and North streets.
Callers said the man was yelling at passing vehicles.

Police charged Tracy Eastman, 40, with disorderly conduct after they said he admitted to walking in the street to draw police attention. Eastman said he’d stopped by the Bennington Police Department about 10 minutes earlier to file a complaint about the theft of a cell phone, but no officer was available to take his report. Police said they were responding to other high priority calls at the time.

Eastman then said he decided to walk in the street because he knew that would get their attention, according to the police report. He also admitted to smoking crack cocaine on Sunday, police said, and figured that might have led to him not thinking rationally.

He has been cited to appear in criminal court on June 3.

Couple in Vt. teacher case ask for new lawyers

ST. JOHNSBURY — A Vermont couple charged in the killing of a popular St. Johnsbury teacher last year wants new lawyers.
Allen and Patricia Prue have been charged in the death of 33-year-old Melissa Jenkins in March 2012. They are accused of luring Jenkins from her Danville home, beating and strangling her and dumping her body in the Connecticut River. They have pleaded not guilty.
The Prues will be tried separately and have different lawyers.
The Caledonian-Record reports ( Patricia Prue has asked the state for a new court-appointed attorney to replace Marc Eagle of Lamoille.  Eagle filed a motion to withdraw as her attorney, citing “ethical and professional” reasons.
Allen Prue also has asked for a new lawyer. His current one, Dan Maguire of Essex Junction, hasn’t asked to be removed.

Vt reaches deal with company over trademark claims

MONTPELIER — The Vermont attorney general’s office says it has settled complaints that a Los Angeles company sent mailings to Vermont companies that appeared to be bills.

The state says Trademark Monitoring Services, Inc., mailed solicitations to Vermont businesses that misrepresented that the businesses owed it money for trademark-related services.

Attorney General William Sorrell says billing people for things they didn’t agree to buy is a violation of state law.

Under the settlement, the company must comply with Vermont and federal law regulating through-the mail offers and pay full refunds and $10,000 to the state of Vermont in penalties and costs.

Sorrell’s office says it received a number of complaints from individuals and businesses concerning unauthorized billings by out-of-state companies.


Man sentenced for not reporting to prison

BURLINGTON — A New York City man has been sentenced to 14 months in federal prison for failing to surrender to serve a previously imposed sentence on a drug charge in Vermont.
The U.S. Attorney’s office in Burlington says 36-year-old Joseph Manor pleaded guilty in 2011 to possessing with intent to distribute oxycodone and hydrocodone.  He was sentenced to 18 months in prison in April 2012.
Manor was supposed to report to prison that June, but didn’t.
The U.S. Marshals Service found him on Dec. 3, 2012.

Grandmother charged with DUI with three kids in car

BENNINGTON — Police have charged a Vermont woman with being intoxicated while driving three children in her car.
Evelyn O’Brien of Bennington pleaded innocent on Monday to two charges of driving under the influence of alcohol and three charges of reckless endangerment.
An officer said he stopped the 53-year-old O’Brien after seeing her drift toward an opposite lane while driving through an intersection in Bennington over the weekend.
Three were three children in the car, ages 8, 9, and 10. Police said two of them were O’Brien’s grandchildren and the third was a family friend.

Family of Vt trooper killed gets $4.5M settlement

The family of a Vermont State Police trooper who was killed while trying to stop a fleeing suspect almost a decade ago has received a $4.5 million settlement from the state and its insurance carrier.
The Valley News reports ( Washington Superior Court Judge Robert Bent this week approved a settlement to compensate Sgt. Michael Johnson’s widow, Kerrie Johnson, and their three children.
Johnson was killed June 15, 2003 after he was hit by a fleeing car driven by Eric Daley of Lebanon, N.H., that had swerved to avoid spike strips placed across the interstate by Johnson. Daley fled on foot and was later captured in the woods.
Daley, now 33, is serving a 26-to-33-year prison sentence for gross negligent operation of a vehicle.

-The Associated Press

Castleton man arrested with 1,200 bags of heroin

FAIR HAVEN – A Castleton man was arrested Tuesday afternoon after police found 1,200 bags of heroin in the car he was driving on Route 4, according to Vermont State Police. Kenneth D. Trapp, 31, was stopped by police for an undisclosed reason. During the stop, police obtained a search warrant for his vehicle. Trapp was arrested by state police but was later released into the custody of federal law enforcement.

Arrest made in multiple vehicle break-ins

BRISTOL — Police in Bristol are investigating at least five vehicle break-ins.
They have arrested 22-year-old Kraton Chaloux of Bristol on four counts of petit larceny and one count of possession of stolen property following an investigation Tuesday.
Police said property from several of the burglaries was recovered. Property not yet reported stolen also was recovered.

‘Eat More Kale’ artist to learn of fate vs. Chick-fil-A

MONTPELIER — A Vermont folk artist who built a T-shirt business around the term “eat more kale” says he’s expecting to learn more about his legal fight to protect the term in his fight with the fast food giant Chick-fil-A.
Bo Muller-Moore of Montpelier says he expects his lawyer to deliver the news to him Monday about a ruling by the U.S. Trademark office in the case.
The Chick-fil-A restaurant chain has argued Muller-Moore’s T-shirt infringes on its trademarked “eat mor chikin” slogan
The legal battle for the term prompted Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin to say in December 2011 the state would do all it could to help Muller-Moore in his battle with Chick-fil-A.
Muller-Moore says he’s is working on a movie about his fight with Chick-fil-A.