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.
Thursday, March 6 2014 11:41 PM EST2014-03-07 04:41:04 GMT
The Randolph man who admitted to murdering his niece in 2008 will be sentenced this spring. In August Michael Jacques struck a deal with federal prosecutors. He gave up his right to an appeal and pleadedMore >>
The Randolph man who admitted to murdering his niece in 2008 will be sentenced this spring.More >>
Thursday, March 6 2014 11:40 PM EST2014-03-07 04:40:13 GMT
It's a real estate deal between UVM and the Queen City that could end up kicking some non-profits to the curb. The Burlington School District voted Thursday night on half of the multi-million dollar deal.More >>
It's a real estate deal between UVM and the Queen City that could end up kicking some non-profits to the curb.More >>
Thursday, March 6 2014 7:53 PM EST2014-03-07 00:53:09 GMT
'Tis the season-- as winter winds down frost heaves and potholes arrive. The ups and downs of the 2014 winter can be seen and felt. No route or road is spared. And just adding to the frustration-- theMore >>
The deep freeze is making for some rough roads across our region and it's also contributing to a fuel shortage. Shelby Cashman has more.More >>
Thursday, March 6 2014 7:56 PM EST2014-03-07 00:56:36 GMT
The pothole problem knows no boundaries. Our neighbors to the north are also dealing with rough roads. The Quebec Transportation Ministry budgeted $260 million for winter road maintenance. But crews haveMore >>
Our neighbors to the north are also dealing with rough roads.More >>
Thursday, March 6 2014 4:23 PM EST2014-03-06 21:23:33 GMT
Investigators now say a fire that damaged a student housing complex at St. Michael's College was not caused by the building's heating system. The fire last month damaged a row of townhouses. All of theMore >>
Investigators now say a fire that damaged a student housing complex at St. Michael's College was not caused by the building's heating system.More >>
Thursday, March 6 2014 4:50 PM EST2014-03-06 21:50:24 GMT
Vermont police say a New Hampshire woman was driving drunk with two kids in her car. The incident happened Wednesday at the Intersection of 1-91 and Route 302 in Newbury, Vt. Vermont state police sayMore >>
Vermont police say a New Hampshire woman was driving drunk with two kids in her car.More >>