ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. — Two men have been cited on murder charges and an arrest warrant has been issued for a third, stemming from the fatal shooting of 78-year-old Mary Pat O’Hagan, of Chelmsford, Mass.
A judge found probable causes for the charges late Friday afternoon.
Photos: Mass. Unsolved Mysteries
Vermont State Police say Richard Fletcher, 27, of Sheffield, and his half-brother, 33-year-old Keith Baird, of Sutton, are cited into St. Johnsbury Superior Court on charges relating to O’Hagan’s death. An arrest warrant has been granted for 23-year-old Michael Norrie, of St. Johnsbury.
Fletcher and Baird will be arraigned on burglary, kidnapping and first-degree murder charges. Baird faces an additional charge of being a habitual offender. Norrie will be charged with burglary, kidnapping and first-degree murder as well.
Hunters found O’Hagan’s body on Horn Road in Wheelock on October 3, 2010, three weeks after she was reported missing. According to police, O’Hagan was killed inside her home during a botched break-in on Sept. 10.
In court documents filed Friday, Norrie said all three of the suspects were doing crystal meth and wanted to get more the night of O’Hagan’s death.
In an interview with police, Norrie said Fletcher claimed to know where he could get pills, pointing them in the direction of O’ Hagan’s home. Flectcher said he had once worked for her, and he and Norrie went O’Hagan’s Sheffield home.
Once they got inside, Norrie told police that he “freaked out” and shot at O’Hagan.
According to investigators, Norrie said Fletcher then sexually assaulted the grandmother and disposed of her body.
Police have interviewed the three suspects off and on for years.
They said Norrie partially confessed to killing O’Hagan while being interviewed for a separate, unrelated case involving firearms.
Fletcher aroused police suspicion when he spoke about details of the case that had never been public.
As law enforcement interviews continued, court documents said Norrie and Fletcher told conflicting stories and seemed to accuse each other of pulling the trigger.
As for Baird, who is Fletcher’s half brother, he has also been interviewed by police the whole time, according to the court documents.
After several talks, police said they saw inconsistencies in his story. Finally Baird said had no doubt that Fletcher was somehow involved in the killing of O’Hagan. Investigators said that after talking to several of Baird’s friends, they were confident he was involved in disposing of O’Hagan’s body along with Fletcher.
Caledonia County Deputy State’s Attorney Kirk Williams would not comment on why prosecutors are pursuing convictions now.
Fletcher and Baird are due in court in St. Johnsbury on Monday at 12:30 p.m.
Baird is currently being held at Northeast Regional Correctional Center in St. Johnsbury for a lack of bail on multiple counts of violations of conditions of release, habitual offender and violations of an abuse prevention order.
Fletcher is currently serving a sentence at Southern Vermont Facility Center in Springfield for sexual exploitation of a minor.
Michael Norrie is serving a sentence at federal prison in Pennsylvania on federal gun crimes. The arrest warrant obtained for Norrie will start the process of his extradition back to Vermont.