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Man Charged After Bullet Hits Neighbors’ Home

Police Say Suspect Was Cleaning Handgun at Time

— A Sharon man accidentally fired a gunshot through into a neighbor’s bedroom while cleaning his semi-automatic handgun, according to court records.

Nicholas J. Laplaca, 22, pleaded not guilty yesterday to a charge of reckless endangerment during a hearing in Windsor Superior Court.

Laplaca, who could be sentenced up to one year in prison if convicted, was released without having to post bail.

Laplaca, who lives in K & L Court Trailer Park, told Vermont State Police that on Sept. 16 around 6 p.m., he was cleaning his semi-automatic pistol at home, and did not realize it was loaded with a round in the chamber, according to a police affidavit.

The gun had been pointing toward a neighboring home.

The shot tore through Dawna Nadeau’s mobile home and entered her son’s bedroom.

Both mother and son were home at the time, though neither was injured.

“I was sitting in the chair and heard a loud noise, so I went outside to see if anything hit the roof and the neighbor came out,” Trevor Nadeau, 19, wrote in a sworn statement.

Laplaca cooperated the police investigation. He could not be reached for comment.

When the Nadeaus initially confronted him, Laplaca initially said that a firecracker had gone off, according to their sworn statements.

But they soon found a hole in the wall, and a round inside their home.

Judge Robert Gerety yesterday ordered Laplaca not to harass the Nadeaus as part of his conditions of release.

In an affidavit, State Police Senior Trooper Erik McNeice said that Laplaca should have ensured the gun was not loaded before he began cleaning it.

Mark Davis can be reached at mcdavis@vnews.com or 603-727-3304.