Trial Starts in Alleged $40 Drug Debt Murder - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Trial Starts in Alleged $40 Drug Debt Murder

Jonathan Bruno Jonathan Bruno
John Baptie John Baptie
John Baptie John Baptie

Rutland, Vermont - December 3, 2009

Members of John Baptie's family gathered in court Thursday in search of justice for his murder.

Jonathan Bruno is charged with the second-degree murder. Prosecutors say he stabbed Baptie to death two years ago near Rutland's Amtrak Station over a $40 drug debt.

"Jonathan Bruno cut John Baptie and he cut him unlawfully in the neck. And he cut him unlawfully in the neck with a knife. And he did it in moments, so fast and so unprovoked that it was unlawful killing," Rutland County Prosecutor Marc Brierre said.

The defense argues Bruno was in a manic state due to his drug use and believed he was in danger and was defending himself.

"He swung to back off John Baptie-- tragically he cut his throat," said Kerry DeWolfe, Bruno's lawyer. "John dropped the knife and ran. All he knew was that there was a lot of blood and he never meant for this to happen."

Court Adjourned at 4 p.m. on Thursday and will reconvene Friday morning with the presentation of evidence and witness testimony.

Molly Smith - WCAX News

Related Stories:

Police: Man Killed Over $40 Debt

Man Stabbed to Death in Rutland

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