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Vt. teen who admitted to deadly hotel shooting appears in court

Published: Apr. 5, 2021 at 5:58 PM EDT
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RUTLAND, Vt. (WCAX) - A teen admits he shot another teen at the Quality Inn in Rutland. Kahliq Richardson, 18, turned himself in to police Saturday afternoon.

Richardson was in court Monday to plead not guilty to manslaughter.

“I don’t really think the state has given much consideration to options. I have in the courtroom with Mr. Richardson, his two parents,” said Robert Kaplan, the defense attorney.

Richardson’s parents, Terrence and Christy Richardson, both took the stand.

His mom said she saw Kahliq with a gun several weeks earlier but only feared him hurting himself and not somebody else.

The state pointed out the serial number was filed off the gun Richardson used to kill Jonah Pandiani, 19, Saturday at the Quality Inn.

“Anyone could imagine this is an ongoing investigation where we anticipate not only additional investigative steps but additional information coming. Most obviously, the completion of an autopsy and a final autopsy report,” Rutland County Deputy State’s Attorney Ian Sullivan said.

The state is looking for up to 15 years for involuntary manslaughter.

But Superior Court Judge David Fenster spoke about Richardson’s clean record, as well as his age when questioning the state.

“He turned 18 in March, March 21st, he’s barely 18, and you’re asking to hold him without bail after he drove himself, well I guess his father drove him to the police station, and he confessed,” Fenster said.

When Richardson turned himself in, he said he was acting recklessly with the gun and did not mean to kill Pandiani.

The judge says there is no evidence of intent.

Judge Fenster released Richardson to his parents with a curfew, allowing for medical attention and therapy.

But outside the courthouse, Richardson’s family had no comment.

At this time, it is unknown when Richardson will be back in court.

Related Story:

Rutland City teen shot, killed by another teenager

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