Quantcast

Busy Vt. burglar sent to prison - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Busy Vt. burglar sent to prison

Posted: Updated:
BURLINGTON, Vt. -

"We've got a person who is basically a serial burglar. At least at times in his life," said Justin Jiron, a deputy prosecutor for Chittenden County. "How do we protect the public going forward?"

"Jail is completely counterproductive to what we are trying to achieve," said Sandra Lee, Verge's lawyer.

It's a case that sparked debate in a Burlington courtroom. Confessed burglar David Verge, 33, of Essex, is answering for his crimes-- nine break-ins during a 5-month span in 2011. He stole to get high, a problem all too familiar to the court.

"It's a pervasive problem in the area, not just Burlington, but around the state," Jiron said.

Verge's drug use started when he was 8. By 14 he was addicted to opiates, in jail by 18, and he spent most of the next 14 years behind bars, never going more than three days without drugs-- bartering for a fix on the inside.

"Throughout his entire time while incarcerated, he used. It was readily available," Lee said.

"I hated myself for the person I was," Verge said.

Verge told the court his days used to revolve around finding his next fix, a cycle that continued until he sought support. Daily suboxone treatment and a stable home life have kept him clean and crime-free and out of jail for the last 15 months.

"For the first time people see the good in me and not just what my bads are, my bad traits. They have faith in me," Verge said.

His lawyer called for 30 days in jail followed by 6 months home confinement. But the state wanted a 6-12 year sentence. The judge-- concerned with ruining Verge's recovery-- compromised on 18 months behind bars.

"You have made extraordinary progress. However it's more than just about you. There's a public to consider. There's victims to consider," Vt. Superior Court Judge Linda Levitt said.

The state says the sentence is a gamble. And prosecutors are not convinced it's long enough to deter future criminals.

"There are people who can turn their lives around and change. Whether Mr. Verge is one of those is hard to know at this point," Jiron said.

Will a habitual offenders' success survive another stint in prison? Only time will tell.

Verge could have gotten up to 25 years in prison on the home invasion burglary charges or even a life sentence as a habitual offender.

Some counseling and substance abuse treatment is available in prison, but it's not as robust as it is on the outside. Verge will only be able to get his suboxone prescription for the first 30 days before DOC weans him off. Corrections says it does not want to become the substance abuse treatment center for the state.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • New fundraising numbers in the race for Vt. Governor

    New fundraising numbers in the race for Vt. Governor

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 11:03 PM EDT2014-09-03 03:03:04 GMT
    Fundraising numbers are in from the candidates running for Vermont's top public office. Governor Peter Shumlin continues to out-raise his Republican opponent Scott Milne. Since August 15th, Governor Shumlin running for his third term in office has added 34 thousand dollars to his war chest. He's now raised over 600 thousand dollars this campaign. Scott Milne raised just 10 thousand dollars bringing his total to 53,000. The Milne campaign has now spent 8 thousand more dollars than it has broug...
    Fundraising numbers are in from the candidates running for Vermont's top public office. Governor Peter Shumlin continues to out-raise his Republican opponent Scott Milne. Since August 15th, Governor Shumlin running for his third term in office has added 34 thousand dollars to his war chest. He's now raised over 600 thousand dollars this campaign. Scott Milne raised just 10 thousand dollars bringing his total to 53,000. The Milne campaign has now spent 8 thousand more dollars than it has broug...
  • Mechanic accused of illegal car inspection ring

    Mechanic accused of illegal car inspection ring

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 11:03 PM EDT2014-09-03 03:03:01 GMT
    A Springfield mechanic is accused of operating an illegal car inspection sticker ring. 29 year old Benjamin Millay allegedly stole around 30 inspection stickers from his former employer the Springfield Auto Mart and sold them on the side to cars that otherwise would not have passed inspection. Tuesday he pleaded not guilty to a single count of embezzlement. After providing police with a written confession Millay was released to await trail. Vermont inspectors are now working to track down tho...
    A Springfield mechanic is accused of operating an illegal car inspection sticker ring. 29 year old Benjamin Millay allegedly stole around 30 inspection stickers from his former employer the Springfield Auto Mart and sold them on the side to cars that otherwise would not have passed inspection. Tuesday he pleaded not guilty to a single count of embezzlement. After providing police with a written confession Millay was released to await trail. Vermont inspectors are now working to track down tho...
  • Arson investigation underway for Dummerston church

    Arson investigation underway for Dummerston church

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 11:02 PM EDT2014-09-03 03:02:53 GMT
    An arson investigation is underway at a church in Dummerston.
    An arson investigation is underway at a church in Dummerston.
  • Autopsy confirms gender of body found in Massena

    Autopsy confirms gender of body found in Massena

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 11:02 PM EDT2014-09-03 03:02:57 GMT
    New information about a dead body discovered in Massena last week.
    New information about a dead body discovered in Massena last week.
  • Former CVU english teacher dies in Hawaii

    Former CVU english teacher dies in Hawaii

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 10:02 PM EDT2014-09-03 02:02:12 GMT
    A former Champlain Valley Union High School english teacher has died in Hawaii.
    A former Champlain Valley Union High School english teacher has died in Hawaii.
  • ISIS claims it beheaded another US journalist

    ISIS claims it beheaded another US journalist

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 7:24 PM EDT2014-09-02 23:24:15 GMT
    ISIS claims it has beheaded another United States journalist with ties to our region.
    ISIS claims it has beheaded another United States journalist with ties to our region.
  • 2nd trial begins for Vt. prison guard

    2nd trial begins for Vt. prison guard

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 12:25 PM EDT2014-09-02 16:25:40 GMT
    A prison guard accused of sexually assaulting a female inmate was back in court Tuesday.
    A prison guard accused of sexually assaulting a female inmate was back in court Tuesday.
  • Bicyclist dies after injury in Waterbury

    Bicyclist dies after injury in Waterbury

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 6:24 PM EDT2014-09-02 22:24:11 GMT
    A bicyclist has died after being injured in Waterbury.
    A bicyclist has died after being injured in Waterbury.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WCAX. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.