Plea deals for 4 suspects in connection with deadly Burlington shootout

Published: Mar. 7, 2022 at 5:17 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Four people have made plea deals in connection with a deadly shootout in Burlington. Two men and two women will plead guilty to federal drug and gun charges in the case surrounding the killing of Benzel Hampton.

April 16, 2019, saw a rare Burlington homicide.

There were two crime scenes: one in the Old North End, the other just steps away from the UVM Medical Center.

It happened in the late afternoon. Police say on North Willard Street, James Felix and Johnny Ford ambushed Benzel Hampton, 23.

Federal court paperwork obtained by WCAX News shows a text sent by Hampton to a woman staying with Felix, Ford, Brandon Sanders, Angelina Pearson-Fitzpatrick and Lesine Woodson was perceived as a threat. The feds say Ford and Felix became angry and drove from LaFountain Street to North Willard where they found Hampton and tackled him. Then there was a shootout.

Felix was hit three times, Hampton six times. Everyone took off leaving Hampton’s dead body in the driveway.

Investigators say Woodson drove the getaway car toward the UVM Medical Center. When they were nearby, they stopped an ambulance in the road to get Felix treated for his wounds and ditched their vehicle in the street.

The feds say Ford and Sanders fled to Springfield, Massachusetts. Police spotted them and chased them south just across the state line into Enfield, Connecticut, where they were arrested.

Law enforcement officers say they found more than 100 grams of cocaine and $17,000 in cash in Ford and Sanders’ motel room.

James Felix, Brandon Sanders, Angelina Pearson-Fitzpatrick and Lesine Woodson all hail from Orlando, Florida, and the feds say they came to Vermont to sell drugs.

They have all now agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to sell cocaine and to use a gun in the process. They each face a maximum of 40 years in prison, and fines of more than one million dollars.

There’s no plea deal right now for Johnny Ford, who appears to be heading for federal trial in June on drug and gun charges.

No one is facing charges for Hampton’s death. Chittenden County Prosecutor Sarah George says she withdrew murder charges when the feds decided to prosecute the suspects for drugs and guns.

Related Stories:

Federal charges filed in Burlington murder case

Man injured in Burlington shootout arraigned at hospital

2 suspects in Burlington shootout plead not guilty to murder

Police: Florida woman helped Burlington murder suspects

Burlington police arrest 2 more suspects in deadly shootout

4 expected to face murder charges in Burlington shootout

Woman charged with murder in connection with Burlington shootout

Police investigating deadly shootout in Burlington’s Old North End

Copyright 2022 WCAX. All rights reserved.