"It's right up there the top of the list of frustrating cases," said Bill Sorrell, D-Vt. Attorney General.
Investigators say they've had three suspects in Pat O'Hagan's death since shortly after the Sheffield grandmother was found murdered in 2010. Michael Norrie, Richard Fletcher and Keith Baird, all of Sheffield, are jailed on separate charges in other cases. Investigators say Fletcher and Norrie have implicated themselves in the murder and disposal of O'Hagan's body. The motive-- apparently that O'Hagan discovered a meth-making operation next door to her home.
The men told prosecutors O'Hagan was raped and shot in the back of the head.
"Terrible tragedy," Sorrell said. "Wonderful woman who met a very unfortunate death."
Federal court filings against Fletcher in a child pornography case reveal both Norrie and Fletcher knew details about the case that only the killers would know. Fletcher told investigators things like how O'Hagan was shot, the type of gun, that her body was not buried, where it was and other specifics.
And federal prosecutors hoping for a tough sentence in the porn case say the state does not plan to charge Fletcher with murder because there's not enough evidence. Federal prosecutors wrote: "It is expected that this Court will be the only Court to address Fletcher's responsibility for O'Hagan's demise."
"I didn't read that in there," Sorrell said.
We showed Attorney General Bill Sorrell the federal filing. He disagrees.
"That's the U.S. Attorney's office saying that and again, I remain hopeful that we will gather enough evidence," Sorrell said.
Asked what he would need to charge them, Sorrell answered, "I'm not going to go into that. Again, if we charge someone and they are acquitted and then go out on the courthouse steps and confess, there's nothing we can do. That would be a double tragedy."
The pile of details has some close to O'Hagan frustrated that there have been no charges. But former federal prosecutor Jerry O'Neill says investigators are right to wait.
"You have three of them with pending charges. Once those charges get worked through, one or more of them is going to cooperate against the others and state or federal prosecutor will have what they need to bring murder charges," O'Neill said.
And Sorrell says there is no statute of limitations, so prosecutors can bring charges anytime they feel they have enough evidence.
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