Alicia Harrington, a local wife and domestic worker, was remembered as a loving mother who will be missed by her family after the arraignment of the man accused of her murder.
Rutland attorney Steven Howard, who represents Harrington’s husband, Jaime Harrington, and the Harrington family, read a statement on Friday.
“Alicia was not only Jaime’s precious wife but also his best friend. Alicia was a wonderful mother and treated their son as the center of her world. The things that Alicia did for her family and friends were selfless,” Howard said.
The statement said Harrington would stop what she was doing if she saw someone having a bad day so she could try to bring a better mood to that person.
Howard spoke to the press after the arraignment of Shawn LaPlant, of Chestnut Avenue, in Rutland criminal court for second-degree murder.
Howard said Harrington was a lifelong Rutlander.
“Her death has left a huge hole in our world,” Howard said.
An obituary submitted to the Rutland Herald was written by friends.
“Alicia was good, funny, warm, loving, stubborn and shy. Unique. With red hair, and freckles, and a nervousness that could be debilitating. She was a beautiful individual, mother, wife, daughter, cousin, niece and friend. Her sense of humor made the crankiest client smile,” the obituary said.
Alicia Jean Dell Veneri Harrington, 44, of Rutland, graduated from Rutland High School in 1992, took classes at Lyndon State College and what was then Castleton State College.
She married Jaime Harrington in July 2001 and her son, Tristan, was born in March 2009. Eventually, she started a house-cleaning business.
“(T)hat flame of hair, her lovely, heartfelt laugh, her lively conversation, her industry, her unassuming manner, all made her knock on the door a welcome one. She loved your cats, she loved your dogs and she loved your little grandchildren,” Harrington’s obituary said.
The statement Howard read said the family was “devastated” when they learned of Harrington’s death on March 7. Jaime Harrington reported his wife missing March 5, the day police believe she died, but she wasn’t found until someone reported finding her car in Proctor.
“Since the evening of March 5, Jaime, his son and the rest of the Harrington family had held on tightly to the hope that Alicia would be found alive and well. Jaime and his mother, Nancy, stayed up almost all night in hopes that the call would come saying they had found her,” Howard said.
Howard said the family sustained their hope after Harrington’s car was found on March 6.
“Despite their prayers, harsh realities crushed their hopes on the afternoon of March 7. Now they are left with memories of what has been and the remorse of knowing what will never be,” Howard said.
In the police affidavit supporting the charges against LaPlant, police said Jaime Harrington told them that Alicia Harrington had admitted to a past affair with LaPlant.
Howard acknowledged the Harrington marriage wasn’t always perfect but said the couple had “turned the corner and were looking at a bright future.”
“They had really resolved to work on their marriage and make it work. They did so, in part, because of their son and also because of their longstanding relationship and, at the very least, their friendship,” he said.
In the statement, Howard said the Harrington family hoped LaPlant’s arrest would start the process that could lead to closure.
“Although we recognize that the arrest and arraignment of Shawn LaPlant is only the first step in a long and painful legal process, the family at least can draw some comfort knowing that Alicia’s killer will face justice in the foreseeable future. From this day forward, the family will have to cope with their incredible loss,” Howard said.
A two-part fund has been set up at the Heritage Family Credit Union, one part a trust for Tristan and his education when he comes of age; and the second to help with the Harrington family’s unexpected expenses.