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Vt. Inn Owner Held on Stalking, Assault Charges

  • Sumner Mansion co-owner Ken Lucci does paperwork at the inn in Hartland, Vt., on November 18, 2015. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Sumner Mansion co-owner Ken Lucci speaks with Savanna Mason about the work she will be doing at the inn in Hartland, Vt., on November 18, 2015. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.



Valley News Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 29, 2016

White River Junction — The co-owner of historic inns in Windsor and Hartland is being held without bail after he allegedly shot a bullet through a former employee’s truck and smashed the windows out of another vehicle earlier this month.

Kenneth Lucci, 51, pleaded not guilty in Windsor Superior Court on Nov. 18 to eight charges, four of them felonies each punishable by up to five years in prison.

Judge Theresa DiMauro ordered Lucci held without bail and to undergo a mental health screening, which prosecutors requested. That screening found he wasn’t in need of treatment or further evaluation, court documents indicate.

Lucci is a co-owner of the Sumner Mansion Inn and the Windsor Mansion Inn, properties he bought with his sister, Brenda Bradley, in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Lucci lives in one of the suites at the Sumner Mansion.

Lucci’s court case started on Nov. 17, when he went to the Windsor Police Station and said he felt he was a victim of extortion, according to an affidavit written by Windsor police Sgt. Jonathan Adams and filed in the White River Junction courthouse.

Lucci told Adams that he received an email on Nov. 16 from an attorney about repair estimates for damage done to vehicles owned by his former employee, Zach Burch, and Burch’s girlfriend, Savanna Mason.

Lucci told police Burch claimed that Lucci had damaged the vehicles. Lucci said he and Burch were drinking at Burch’s West Windsor residence on the evening of Nov. 14 and got into a “gun fight.” He claimed Burch fired four gunshots at him and he responded by firing one shot, the affidavit says.

Lucci requested no-trespassing paperwork to keep Burch off of the Windsor Mansion property — which previously was known as the Juniper Hill Inn — and then left the station, the affidavit says.

Adams subsequently went to Burch’s residence and spoke with Burch, who contradicted Lucci’s version of events, according to Adams’ affidavit. Mason and Burch’s father, William Burch, who were present when the incident allegedly took place, subsequently provided statements, and their version of events also contradicted Lucci’s, Adams wrote.

Zach Burch told police Lucci came to his residence shortly before midnight on Nov. 14 and rapped on the door repeatedly while simultaneously calling him for about an hour.

When he didn’t answer, Lucci allegedly walked toward Burch’s truck and fired a single bullet through the front driver’s side window, the affidavit says.

In a written statement in the court file, the younger Burch said Lucci inserted himself into Burch and Mason’s relationship and that is what led to the alleged damage to the vehicles. On Nov. 9, Lucci allegedly smashed all of the windows out of Mason’s SUV when it was in Burch’s driveway, according to Adams’ affidavit.

Burch told police he never fired any shots in the incident with Lucci, according to the affidavit.

Lucci faces two felony counts of aggravated stalking with a deadly weapon, two felony counts of unlawful mischief, two misdemeanor counts of simple assault attempted by menace and single misdemeanor counts of disturbing the peace by calling repeatedly and providing false information to an officer.

He is being represented by Christopher Dall; new Deputy Windsor County State’s Attorney Karen Oelschlaeger is prosecuting the case.

He has no prior criminal record in any state, court records indicate.

Lucci returned to New England a couple of years ago to be closer to his mother and sister, who live in Massachusetts, Lucci told a Valley News reporter last year when he was interviewed about a contract to close on the Windsor-based inn.

The pair put extensive work into both inns. They bought the Sumner Mansion Inn property for $560,000 in November 2014 and put $300,000 into it. They bought the Windsor property in late 2015 for around $400,000, and Lucci said at the time that they planned to put between $500,000 and $700,000 into it.

Lucci previously owned a limousine company in Florida.

Messages left for Bradley, Lucci’s sister, weren’t returned.

Gayle Ballard, the managing innkeeper at the Windsor Mansion Inn, said she wasn’t at liberty to speak with a reporter.

Windsor Town Manager Tom Marsh said news of Lucci’s arrest has “certainly” been a topic of conversation in town.

“If there is any commonality to what people are asking me, it’s ‘wow, he was such a nice guy, he treated me really well ...’ ” Marsh said.

He called the investment Lucci put in to the Windsor Mansion Inn a “huge improvement” for the community.

“We are certainly concerned about the state of affairs,” he said.

Lucci is due back in court on Dec. 13 for a status conference.

Jordan Cuddemi can be reached at jcuddemi@vnews.com or 603-727-3248.