Not guilty. That was the verdict Tuesday night in the murder trial of 20-year-old Isaac Turnbaugh of Moretown. The jury's decision came almost exactly two-years after Turnbaugh was charged with the sniper-style murder of a co-worker at a restaurant in Waitsfield.
It took the jury a little more than five hours of deliberating to find Isaac Turnbaugh not guilty of gunning down Declan Lyons. Police had pinned the case on Turnbaugh's alleged confession to his friends. But the defense said it was a false confession because Turnbaugh was mentally ill and under the influence of psychedelic drugs at the time.
For Turnbaugh, his family, friends and lawyers the verdict triggered tears of joy and relief, ending what they called a two-year nightmare. Turnbaugh left the courtroom in tears hugging his father. When asked for comment, Turnbaugh said his minister told him the truth would set him free.
The family and friends of murder victim Declan Lyons wept and left the courtroom without comment moments after the verdict was announced. The prosecutors also declined comment. For Vermont Assistant Attorney General Cindy Maguire the not guilty verdict ends her undefeated record. It is the first time she has ever failed to get a conviction in a murder case.
Isaac Turnbaugh is now a free man and can never be charged again in connection with Declan Lyons murder. And even though Turnbaugh's lawyers used his mental illness as part of their defense, the not guilty verdict means Turnbaugh is not required to undergo any kind of treatment for his diagnosed mental illness that forced a six week delay of the trial.
Sunday, May 19 2013 12:06 AM EDT2013-05-19 04:06:03 GMT
Vermont State Police have charged 22-year-old Adam Page of Newport for stealing the Newport City Elementary School bus, which has now been declared totaled. A stolen dog was also recovered in the busMore >>
State Police say he is also being charged with the theft of two other vehicles and a woman's dog.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 11:45 PM EDT2013-05-19 03:45:20 GMT
State police are looking for the person responsible for stealing a school bus and taking it for a joyride in northern Vermont. Troopers say the 2014-model bus belonging Newport City Elementary SchoolMore >>
Police say the school bus belonging to the Newport City Elementary School was taken for a joy ride Friday night.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 10:10 PM EDT2013-05-19 02:10:53 GMT
A fatal accident in Lyndon Saturday. It happened around 2:30 Saturday afternoon on Route 122. Police say 76-year-old Gerda Blaszczyk of St. Johnsbury swerved to avoid an animal. Her car travelled up anMore >>
Police say the driver swerved to avoid an animal.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 8:03 PM EDT2013-05-19 00:03:45 GMT
Senator Bernie Sanders is touring the state this weekend with a special guest. Sanders and the Danish Ambassabdor to the United States are hosting town hall meetings in Burlington, Brattleboro and Montpelier. TheMore >>
Sanders and the Danish Ambassabdor to the United States are hosting town hall meetings.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 7:56 PM EDT2013-05-18 23:56:03 GMT
Saturday marked a new beginning for Castleton State College students. "Were all gathered here, getting fired up, having a good time," explained Castleton graduate, David Carrier. The 500 graduates hadMore >>
It's graduation day for the class of 20-13 at Castleton State College. And just for the occasion, the college invited back an alumnus with a strong connection to the school.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 7:51 PM EDT2013-05-18 23:51:14 GMT
Young bikers were learning the rules of the road in South Burlington Saturday. Kids who brought their bikes to the Dorset St. Park received free checks for their brakes, chains, and tires. Helmets alsoMore >>
and much more... making sure kids are safe before they hit the roads this summer.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 7:49 PM EDT2013-05-18 23:49:26 GMT
On a sun-soaked Saturday, Karen Trayah and her dogs enjoyed the sights, sounds, and of course smells of a festival for fidos. "It's called Woofstock, however, this is our 1st year doing it here at theMore >>
Making sure our furry friends have a place to call home.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 7:54 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:54:10 GMT
The door to room 118 at the Liberty Inn and Suites is gone-- busted by police during an early morning drug raid. They say tenant Julie Herron, 41, was selling heroin out her room. She was living thereMore >>
A South Burlington drug bust exposed new abuses of the state's homeless voucher program. A couple was arrested for selling heroin out of their motel room, and police say the state was footing the bill for their stay.More >>