Judge says impaired murder suspect understood rights

Featured

copyright the Chronicle August 30, 2017

 

by Paul Lefebvre

 

NEWPORT — Can an inebriated murder suspect understand the rights he has given up when consenting to talk to police at the time of his arrest?

In a 12-page ruling following hearings and expert testimony, Orleans County Superior Court Judge Howard VanBenthuysen has ruled he can.

The judge’s ruling derails a defense motion to suppress evidence gained when accused murderer Jeffrey Ray, 53, of Brownington waived his Miranda rights and talked to police.

Mr. Ray, who remains in custody, has pled innocent to murdering his ex-wife’s husband on May 24, 2015, in Brownington.

The judge’s ruling, which is expected to clear the way for an early trial next year, came in the face of conflicting testimony from two experts and testimony from police.

According to Judge VanBenthuysen’s “Finding of Facts,” State Police Detective Sergeant Jacob Zoen interviewed the defendant at North Country Hospital roughly an hour after the shooting.

At that initial interview, according to the court’s findings, the detective did not note “any signs or symptoms of alcohol impairment.” Mr. Ray told the detective that he understood his rights and signed the Miranda form after it had been read to him.

The interview lasted 52 minutes and, at some point, the detective did note “a slight odor of intoxicants on the defendant.”

To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe to the online edition below:

Annual online subscription

Short-term online subscription

Print subscription

(To find a particular article, search for the corresponding edition of the newspaper)

Share

Accused murderer questions lawyer

Featured

copyright the Chronicle March 16, 2016

by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT – A breach between an accused murderer and his lawyer was apparently healed by a talk from Judge Robert Bent.

Jeffrey M. Ray, 52, of Brownington sent a handwritten note to the clerk in the Criminal Division of Orleans Superior Court on February 26 to say he and St. Johnsbury attorney David Sleigh met that day and had “a breakdown with our communication.”

He asked that he be allowed to find a new lawyer.

On May 26, 2015, Mr. Ray pled innocent to first degree murder in the shooting death of Rick Vreeland, 53, also of Brownington, and his former wife’s husband.  Judge Timothy Tomasi ordered Mr. Ray held without bail.

Mr. Ray was in court with Mr. Sleigh Monday morning…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

Print subscription

Annual online subscription

Short-term online subscription

(To find a particular article, search for the corresponding edition of the newspape

Share

Ray charged with first-degree murder

Featured

Orleans County Deputy Sheriff Phil Brooks with Jeffrey M. Ray of Brownington, who pled innocent in Superior Court Monday to first degree murder.  Mr. Ray, who is being held without bail, is accused of shooting another Brownington man, Rick Vreeland, Monday morning.  Photo by Joseph Gresser

Orleans County Deputy Sheriff Phil Brooks with Jeffrey M. Ray of Brownington, who pled innocent in Superior Court Monday to first degree murder. Mr. Ray, who is being held without bail, is accused of shooting another Brownington man, Rick Vreeland, Monday morning. Photo by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle May 27, 2015

by Tena Starr  

NEWPORT — Jeffrey M. Ray, 51, of Brownington pled innocent here Tuesday to first degree murder and was held without bail.

Mr. Ray is accused of shooting and killing Rick Vreeland, 53, his former wife’s husband, on Monday.

Mr. Ray appeared in the Criminal Division of Orleans Superior Court looking the worse for wear. He was hospitalized on Monday as a result of a struggle with his son, who said he tried to take the gun away from Mr. Ray, his father, after Mr. Ray shot Mr. Vreeland, the boy’s stepfather, a police affidavit says.

The shooting apparently wasn’t a big surprise to those who knew the two men. Police affidavits indicate they had been at odds for years. Mr. Ray had repeatedly….To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

Print subscription

Annual online subscription

Short-term online subscription

(To find a particular article, search for the corresponding edition of the newspaper.)

contact Tena Starr at [email protected]

Share