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Hartford Man Charged With Murder in 2-Year-Old’s Death

Luke Theriault

Luke Theriault

Hartford — A 31-year-old Hartford man faces charges of murder in the first degree and aggravated domestic assault stemming from the death of his girlfriend’s 2-year-old son last summer, police said in a news release late Wednesday night.

Luke Theriault was ordered held without bail pending an arraignment in Windsor Superior Court this afternoon, police said.

Hartford Police said the arrest followed a more than one-year investigation into the July 4, 2013, death of a 2-year-old child of Theriault’s girlfriend.

Theriault is identified as the boyfriend of Kayleigh Munyon in the obituary of her son Jamaal Jayden Turkvan, a boy from White River Junction who died unexpectedly on that date.

Jamaal “loved the outdoors, spending time in the woods ... and playing with his toy John Deere tractor,” his obituary said.

Authorities initially had been told Jamaal had been injured in an accident at day care.

Jamaal’s paternal grandmother, Shirley Jefferson, said she was surprised to learn the news of an arrest Wednesday night from a reporter. Asked if her grandson’s death had been regarded as suspicious, Jefferson said, “Not to our knowledge ... they said he was hit with a ball.”

Jefferson, an associate dean at Vermont Law School, ended a short conversation saying she wanted to tell her son, Jamaal J. Turkvan, the news of an arrest in his son’s death.

Theriault was known to Hartford police. He was arrested in late April on charges of reckless endangerment and possession of cocaine after allegedly firing a round from a handgun that entered a neighbor’s apartment, police said in a news release at the time.

Two days later, he and another man were arrested on drug charges on Bugbee Street in White River Junction after a traffic stop in which police said they found more than an ounce of marijuana and over 25 grams of hash oil that had been “packaged for distribution,” according to another news release in April.

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Hartford Man Pleads Not Guilty in Death of Toddler

Thursday, August 28, 2014

White River Junction — A 31-year-old Hartford man pleaded not guilty this afternoon to charges of second-degree murder in connection with the death of his girlfriend’s 2-year-old son. Luke Theriault was ordered held without bail during his arraignment in Windsor Superior Court. Theriault was arrested this week following a year-long investigation into the July 4, 2013, death of Jamaal Jayden …