Man pleads guilty to killing in man he met at halfway house
ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. (AP) — A Vermont man has pleaded guilty to killing another man in exchange for a sentence of 27 years to life in prison.
Allen Draper, 31, pleaded guilty Wednesday to first-degree murder, assault and robbery and giving false information to police in the 2018 death of Tim Persons, the Caledonian Record reported.
The state has agreed to dismiss four other charges, including arson, as part of the plea deal.
Police said Draper told them he had gone to Person’s home that night, demanding money to buy drugs. Draper told police when Persons refused, he hit him in the head with a radiator pipe and set his home on fire.
The state medical examiner determined that Persons died from blunt force trauma to the head and smoke inhalation.
Police said Draper knew Persons from volunteer work Persons did at the Covered Bridge Therapeutic Communities halfway house where Draper was living.
In May, defense attorney Rob Sussman told the court that he suspected that Draper’s confession may have been coerced by police and said he planned to challenge it at trial.
But on Wednesday, Draper did not challenge the facts of the case laid out by Caledonia County State’s Attorney Lisa Warren.
Judge Robert Bent asked Draper if he agreed with those facts and he said he did, before he pleaded guilty.
Information from: The Caledonian-Record, http://www.caledonianrecord.com