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No charges in Chelsea tablet shooting

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 7/2/2019 7:29:48 AM
Modified: 7/2/2019 7:29:43 AM

CHELSEA — A 32-year-old Chelsea man who police said shot his neighbor’s computer tablet following a property dispute last month likely won’t face criminal charges.

Timothy LaPlante Jr. had been cited by Vermont State Police to appear in Orange Superior Court court last week to face charges of disorderly conduct and unlawful mischief, but no arraignment was held.

Instead, his case is being referred to the Orange County Restorative Justice Program, an alternative track to the criminal justice system that plays out confidentially, according to both LaPlante and Patricia Campbell, the 56-year-old neighbor, who said she was notified by authorities about the decision.

Assistant Orange County State’s Attorney Dickson Corbett said last week that he couldn’t comment on the case.

Asked about LaPlante’s arraignment, Chelsea Superior Court operations manager Samantha Spinella said “there is no new/current record available for public inspection regarding this individual.”

Police on May 19 cited LaPlante into court after he allegedly knocked Campbell’s Amazon Fire tablet out of her hand, picked it up, brought it onto his property and shot it several times with a handgun, Vermont State Police said at the time.

The alleged incident took place following a property dispute with Campbell over cut trees near their Jenkins Brook Road homes.

State Police said LaPlante had cut trees which Campbell thinks are on her property, but he believes are on his. She was shooting at targets in response to the tree-cutting, and LaPlante then began firing his gun, police said. That prompted Campbell to begin taking video of her neighbor, according to police. He then allegedly took the tablet and shot it.

Campbell said she isn’t happy with the way the case is playing out.

“I’d like to see him prosecuted,” she said last week.

Cases that go to court diversion can result in the person avoiding a permanent criminal record if he or she completes the program, according to the Orange County Restorative Justice Center’s website.

The individual must choose to participate in the program, admit responsibility, meet with a panel, complete a contract “designed to repair the harm done to the victim and the larger community, and address underlying factors in the individual’s life that contributed to the crime,” and pay a fee.

If the individual doesn’t complete the program, the case can be prosecuted.

LaPlante declined comment, other than to say he had never been in trouble previously and a land survey is pending.

Jordan Cuddemi can be reached at jcuddemi@vnews.com or 603-727-324 8.




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