Bradford Woman’s Murder Trial Nears
Anne-Marie Whiteway talks with public defender Dan Sedon during her arraignment in Windsor District Court in White River Junction on Dec. 27, 2012, for allegedly shooting and killing Dale Rock at his home in Newbury, Vt. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Purchase photo reprints »
Chelsea — A Bradford, Vt., woman who is charged with second-degree murder in the death of her ex-boyfriend on Christmas night in 2012 is scheduled to go to trial at the end of this month.
Anne-Marie Whiteway is alleged to have shot to death 43-year-old Dale Rock at his Newbury, Vt., home on Dec. 25, 2012.
Whiteway, 52, has been held without bail at the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility since her arrest nearly 18 months ago . In the last six months, Whiteway has twice had her requests for home confinement turned down by the court.
A conviction on a s econd-degree murder c harge carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
Whiteway allegedly shot Rock in the head after arriving at his Newbury, Vt., home where she d iscovered a woman named Stephanie Plante staying with him, according to a police affidavit.
Plante told police that Whiteway and Rock had been separated for about a month, and at the same time, Plante and her husband, Mike, had been “having difficulties,” so Plante had begun staying at Rock’s Doe Hill Lane residence.
During that time, Plante told police that Whiteway had repeatedly called Rock and accused him of having a sexual relationship with Plante, according to the affidavit.
Plante denied the accusation.
During an interview with police, Plante said that Whiteway had arrived at Rock’s house and “ran through the door and jumped on Stephanie,” according to the affidavit. Rock then ushered Whiteway out the door, but she soon reentered the home, and police allege that Whiteway then shot Rock.
Whiteway filed a motion for home confinement earlier this year, and in a written order in February, Judge Robert Gerety denied the motion, citing that Whiteway was being held without bail, in part, to protect a third party who is expected to be a witness at Whiteway’s trial.
Gerety listed other reasons for denying bail, including the limitations of an electronic monitoring program offered by the Department of Corrections. Gerety’s order stated that if Whiteway was allowed home detention, she would be given a GPS device, but the device could be removed with scissors and noted that DOC does not monitor the GPS 24 hours a day.
“It is reasonably likely that the defendant could remove the GPS device from her body and leave the premises in the middle of the night while the proposed custodian is sleeping, and that her absence would not be detected by DOC for up to 36 hours,” Gerety wrote.
But that decision was appealed to the state Supreme Court and in April, the higher court reversed and remanded Gerety’s decision back to the lower court .
The Supreme Court ruled that the trial court’s decision “constitutes an abuse of discretion” and that the court “improperly considered the nature of the offense multiple times against defendant and did not articulate any factors specific to defendant herself that weighed against her in the court’s reasoning.”
The Supreme Court wrote that it was concerned that Gerety “grounded its decision on the way that DOC has chosen to discharge its responsibilities under the program.” The court wrote that while it’s important for a judge to w eigh the risk to public safety when considering home detention, it is not the court’s role to second guess how the commissioner administers the home detention program.
Another hearing was held, but Gerety again denied Whiteway’s motion for home detention in April. He based his ruling mostly on the safety risk to Stephanie Plante, the other person who was at the scene the day Rock was shot and who Whiteway allegedly assaulted prior to Rock’s murder.
“This reality causes the court very grave concern for the safety of the woman at the scene who was clearly the object of the defendant’s jealously fueled scorn,” Gerety wrote. “The shooting in this case was directly related to the breakup of a romantic relationship. The defendant believed that she was betrayed by (the) victim of the shooting, but she also believed that she was betrayed by the women who had recently started living with the shooting victim.”
Gerety’s decision was appealed a second time to the state Supreme Court. This time the higher court affirmed Gerety’s ruling.
Neither Orange County State’s Attorney William Porter nor defense attorney Robert Sussman responded to requests for comment.
Whiteway’s trial is scheduled for June 24 to July 8 in Orange Superior Court in Chelsea, assuming she doesn’t reach a plea agreement prior to her trial.
Sarah Brubeck can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 603-727-3223.