Bethel Man Sentenced For 2015 Shooting

  • Dennis Dundas enters the courtroom to begin his arraignment at Windsor Superior Court in White River Junction, Vt., on April 27, 2015. Dundas pleaded not guilty to the charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in the shooting of Donald Giovanella of East Bethel, Vt. (Valley News - Sarah Priestap)

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Wednesday, June 07, 2017

White River Junction — A 68-year-old East Bethel man was sentenced on Wednesday to serve three years of a five- to 10-year prison sentence in connection with a shooting at his home in April 2015.

A Windsor Superior Court jury in January found Dennis Dundas guilty of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a felony, for unlawfully shooting his friend Donald Giovanella during an argument over drinks at Dundas’ Route 14 home. Giovanella was shot three times but survived.

Windsor County Deputy State’s Attorney Heidi Remick said she recommended a five- to 10-year sentence, partially suspended, but didn’t suggest a number of years to be served.

Dundas faced a maximum penalty of up to 15 years in prison, according to state law.

Judge Theresa DiMauro on Wednesday ultimately decided Dundas’ sentence length, Remick said in a telephone interview after the hearing.

Messages left for Dundas’ attorney Daniel Maguire were not immediately returned.

Several factors went into Remick’s recommendation, she said, including Giovanella’s lasting injuries from the gunshot wounds and his safety concerns about Dundas’ release back into the community.

She also factored in Dundas’ lack of a prior criminal record and the fact that alcohol was involved during the argument.

“I also acknowledged that throughout the process, Mr. Dundas had never really taken responsibility for what happened, which was an issue for the judge in sentencing,” Remick said. “He continues to make this a self-defense case when that is really not the story told by the evidence.”

Dundas told police he shot Giovanella after Giovanella threatened to leave his home with a bottle of brandy and attacked him, according to an affidavit.

Dundas has roughly four months of post-trial credit, which will go toward his sentence.

Once released, Dundas will remain on probation, with conditions that he not have contact with his victim.