Men Plead Not Guilty to Firing at Home
David Devost, left, and Joseph O'Keefe were arraigned in Vermont District Court in White River Junction for their roles in attempting to intimidate a potential witness. (Valley News photographs - Sarah Priestap) Purchase photo reprints »
White River Junction — Two Hartford men pleaded not guilty yesterday to charges that they were involved in an attempt to intimidate a potential witness — one of their former friends — by shooting several rounds into his home in November.
David Devost, 21, and Joseph O’Keefe, 19, both face an array of charges after they, along with a third man, allegedly visited the home of Hunter Truell around 1 a.m. O’Keefe allegedly fired several gunshots into Truell’s bedroom, the Hartford Police Department said. Truell was home at the time, and was walking toward his bedroom when the shots were fired. No one was injured.
Devost faces four charges, including simple assault and obstructing justice; O’Keefe faces six charges, including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, using a weapon in the commission of a crime and reckless endangerment.
Truell told police he had been in his bedroom after falling asleep while watching television. A dog began barking, apparently after hearing the men outside, and Truell got up, turned on a light, walked out of the room, and tended to the dog. He was on his way back to the room — he estimated he was one step away — when the shots were fired. His sister, Cheyenne Truell, was also inside the home at the time, police said.
It is not clear from police documents whether the men knew that the Truells were inside the home.
The men involved gave several different accounts to police about what happened, but in one telling, the men saw a dog but thought it was Truell and then O’Keefe opened fire.
“I’m not 100 percent sure if they knew or did not know,” Hartford Police Capt. Brad Vail said in an interview yesterday.
A third man who allegedly participated in the incident, Kyle Doyle, 18, will be charged today, Vail said. Doyle is already in prison on unrelated charges, and, after initially denying involvement, provided police with enough evidence to arrest O’Keefe and Devost.
Devost’s attorney, Brian Marsicovetere, did not respond to a request for comment. O’Keefe’s attorney, Wayne Young, could not be reached for comment.
In an interview with police, Devost said they went to Truell’s home because “they were angry about statements Truell made against them.” Authorities have said Truell’s statements were related to other “criminal matters,” but have not provided additional information.
An affidavit filed by Hartford Police detective Michael Tkac gives the following account.
Cheyenne Truell walked out of their home on Truell Road and heard three or four shots. She saw two or three men running and swearing. She called police.
When officers responded to the Truell’s home minutes later, police found four bullet holes in the window and window frame, and traced the bullets’ path through a window in Truell’s bedroom. Four 9 mm casings were recovered next to a tree 20 feet from the window.
They also found a shoe, near the brush where the suspects allegedly ran into.
During their investigation, police were told that Truell may have been “informing on people.”
O’Keefe and Devost both initially denied any involvement in interviews with police.
Officers searched O’Keefe’s home. They found a .380 caliber pistol, with a loaded magazine inserted, inside his bedroom. O’Keefe also told them a Glock 9 mm pistol was inside a trailer in the yard. They also found a shoebok for an Orisis black shoe, size 12 — an exact match for the shoe that had been left outside Truell’s home.
O’Keefe is not old enough to legally buy a handgun. His brother bought one for him, Doyle told police, according to court documents.
Mark Davis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 603-727-3304.