Police say Carlton Bickford, 76, turned himself in Saturday morning, confessing he killed his girlfriend, Rachel Coburn, 72, with a double-barreled shotgun.
"What we do know from the defendant himself was that he told detectives that he was at the residence of Ms. Coburn earlier in the day, they had some sort of argument, he went to his son's house and retrieved a weapon, he went to his own house, retrieved some shells, and eventually went back and shot her," Orleans County Prosecutor Alan Franklin said.
Bickford told police when he returned to Coburn's home at 17 West Street with the gun, Coburn threatened to turn him in for attempted murder. He then told her if he couldn't have her, nobody could. Police say Bickford then shot Coburn once in the abdomen. He then attempted to take his own life, but the bullet grazed his shoulder and he suffered only minor injuries.
"It was quite shocking to all the neighbors and the folks in town, both in Glover and in Barton," Franklin said.
Court papers show Bickford described his four-year relationship with Coburn as romantic, but later said they were just "keeping company." His wife and son were aware of the affair. Police say Bickford's wife asked Coburn to cut all ties to Bickford, but the affair became deadly before Coburn could escape. If convicted, Bickford now faces life imprisonment with a minimum of 35 years.
"The statute indicates anytime there's a penalty of life imprisonment and the evidence of guilt is great, the defendant may be held without bail," Franklin said.
Speaking with residents, it was clear that many people are devastated by the loss of a community member and friend. No one was ready to talk about the incident on camera.
Saturday, March 8 2014 8:40 AM EST2014-03-08 13:40:47 GMT
Friends are rallying around families who lost everything in an apartment building fire in St. Johnsbury. They immediately took to Facebook after hearing about this fire and started planning to collectMore >>
Friends are rallying around families who lost everything in an apartment building fire in St. Johnsbury.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 8:36 AM EST2014-03-08 13:36:58 GMT
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries. They were injured while fighting a at the Bennett Farm on Route 15 on the Johnson-Cambridge town line. The fire started in a shed around 7:30 FridayMore >>
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 8:31 AM EST2014-03-08 13:31:36 GMT
The Governor is traveling to Rhode Island Saturday. His office says Governor Peter Shumlin will be at Brown University in Providence taking part in a forum with the Rhode Island Governor. While theMore >>
The Governor is traveling to Rhode Island Saturday. More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 8:17 AM EST2014-03-08 13:17:30 GMT
We have some ideas for your Saturday. IRISH FESTIVAL The 19th annual Burlington Irish Heritage Festival kicks off today. There is a lecture about the role of Irish immigrants in the Civil War at theMore >>
Friday, March 7 2014 7:28 PM EST2014-03-08 00:28:44 GMT
Williston Police say, the powder was from a generic prescription medication. They say, the man was from Burlington and had the paperwork in his pocket with his medicine and that's how it got on there. More >>
Williston Police say, the powder was from a generic prescription medication. They say, the man was from Burlington and had the paperwork in his pocket with his medicine and that's how it got on there.More >>
Friday, March 7 2014 7:26 PM EST2014-03-08 00:26:37 GMT
A threat canceled all after-school activities in the Colchester School District Friday. The superintendent sent out an alert to parents saying even with enhanced security measures, the district considersMore >>
A threat canceled all after-school activities in the Colchester School District Friday.More >>
Friday, March 7 2014 10:42 AM EST2014-03-07 15:42:34 GMT
The state of Vermont released new evidence in hopes of keeping a Manchester woman behind bars. Fifty-year-old Patricia Kane was arrested on charges of interfering with the custody of a minor in January.More >>
The state of Vermont released new evidence in hopes of keeping a Manchester woman behind bars.More >>