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Woman accused of shooting Vermont gun teacher pleads guilty

February 11, 2021 GMT

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — A woman accused of shooting a firearms instructor during a lesson at his Westford home in 2015 pleaded guilty on Thursday to attempted second-degree murder, the Vermont attorney general’s office said.

Veronica Lewis, 36, of Worcester, was accused of shooting Darryl Montague in the face and abdomen at his Westford home and then fleeing. Montague survived.

Under a proposed plea deal, Lewis will be sentenced to 20 years to life in prison, with all suspended except for 10 years of incarceration, the Vermont attorney general’s office said. The court has not yet accepted the plea agreement.

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She also would be under state supervision for 40 years after her release with special conditions, including mental health treatment, as part of the deal, prosecutors said.

Lewis pleaded guilty this week in federal court on Tuesday to interference with commerce by robbery and possession of a stolen firearm. That plea deal was contingent upon Lewis pleading guilty in state court on Thursday to attempted second-degree murder.

Chittenden County State’s Attorney Sarah George said in 2019 that her office was dropping charges against Lewis and in two other high-profile cases because evidence showed the defendants were legally insane at the time. Republican Gov. Phil Scott questioned her decision and asked the attorney general to review the cases.

The state refiled an attempted murder charge against Lewis.