Tetreault pleads guilty to shooting daughter’s boyfriend
By Susan Smallheer
Staff Writer | November 16,2012
BRATTLEBORO — A West Townshend man pleaded guilty this week to charges he shot his daughter’s boyfriend in the face.
Four other charges against Edward Tetreault, 55, were dropped in the plea agreement reached between Tetreault’s attorney and Windham County State’s Attorney Tracy Kelly Shriver. He pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated assault.
Sentencing will take place as soon as a presentence investigation and report are prepared by the Vermont Department of Corrections.
According to the plea agreement, Tetreault will receive at least a five-year sentence, although the state is free to argue for an eight-year minimum. The maximum of Tetreault’s sentence will be 15 years, according to terms of the plea agreement.
“It’s a true compromise your honor,” Shriver told Superior Court Judge John Wesley in court on Monday. “No one is particularly happy.”
Tetreault’s court-appointed lawyer, Windham County Public Defender Mimi Brill agreed with Shriver’s assessment that no one was happy with the resolution of the case.
Brill had filed a motion to suppress Tetreault’s statements to Vermont State Police detectives, and a hearing on that motion had been slated for Tuesday. Brill’s motion claimed that state police violated Tetreault’s rights against self-incrimination when they kept questioning him when he was in extreme pain and drunk after the altercation that resulted in the shooting of William McGuiness, 25, of Townshend. Police eventually summoned medical care for Tetreault, but only after he spoke to police.
Tetreault claimed that McGuiness had assaulted him with a head butt two days before the shooting, giving him a severe head injury, court records stated. The shooting took place as the two men struggled for the handgun, court records stated.
Wesley called the case “a very serious felony,” with a potential 15-year sentence.
Brill asked Wesley that she be present during the preparation of the presentence investigation.
Both Shriver and Brill told the judge that the “contested” sentencing hearing would take about a half day.
Police also found a marijuana growing operation at Tetreault’s property and woodworking shop in Grafton, where Tetreault was eventually arrested. Shriver said the potential sentence would include any penalty for the marijuana charges.
Tetreault had been charged with first-degree aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and aggravated domestic assault with a weapon for assaulting a woman.
According to court records, Tetreault, who had been drinking, got into a dispute with his daughter, his wife and his daughter’s boyfriend.
The daughter, a few days before the incident, had called her mother in Florida and said there had been a dispute with her father. The mother drove back to Vermont from Florida, and that night, the shooting took place.
Edward Tetreault arrived at the home on Sept. 18, 2011, highly intoxicated, and asked his family, ‘‘who wanted to get shot first,” according to police records.
Shriver said McGuiness was still recovering from his wounds, including a broken jaw and a gunshot wound to the shoulder.