Suspect in South Royalton murder takes plea deal

Published: May. 20, 2022 at 8:16 AM EDT
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SOUTH ROYALTON, Vt. (WCAX) - A Royalton man connected to a fatal shooting in South Royalton two years ago has accepted a plea deal.

Francis “Frankie” Phelps III appeared in court Thursday to plead no contest to manslaughter and assault. He had been facing a second-degree murder charge for the March 2020 death of 41-year-old George Sun. Sun allegedly threatened Phelps’ mother over the phone and spent the evening trying to find her. Phelps’ lawyer says he was acting in self-defense when he shot Sun.

The Windsor County State’s Attorney disagreed but did urge the judge to accept the plea deal, saying it would be hard to prove murder before a jury.

If accepted, Phelps would be eligible for release after three years in prison.

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