Orleans County man charged with 2nd-degree murder in Belvidere shooting

Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 8:00 AM EDT
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HYDE PARK, Vt. (WCAX) - An Orleans County man pleaded not guilty Thursday to second-degree murder in the shooting death of a man at a seasonal camp in Belvidere Wednesday.

Vermont State Police say Michael Chadwick, 61, of Brownington shot and killed Mark Benjamin, 42, of Brownington around 2:10 p.m. Wednesday at the Benjamin family’s camp on Bog Road in Belvidere.

“It’s a homicide, it’s murder in the second degree and it’s a tragedy for everyone involved,” said Lamoille County Deputy State’s Attorney Aliena Gerhard.

According to court paperwork, Benjamin’s mother, who had been in a long-term relationship with Chadwick, got a restraining order against him on Tuesday. They say Benjamin and his husband traveled to the camp in separate cars so Benjamin could change the locks. When they arrived, Chadwick was allegedly already there. That’s when witnesses say Benjamin drove behind Chadwick’s truck and Chadwick shot him, hitting him in the neck.

“The defendant is alleged to have shot the victim and the victim died shortly thereafter,” Gerhard said.

Authorities say Benjamin’s husband tried to give him first aid as he was driving away, but that he died two miles from where he was shot.

In an interview with police, Chadwick allegedly said he was depressed and knew that going to the camp would violate the relief from abuse order. He also said he knew the police would respond and that he would shoot himself if they did.

Chadwick was involved in a standoff with troopers after they arrived. “To the best of my knowledge, there was no force that was used in taking him into custody. Once the negotiation had ended, he came out and he surrendered,” said Vermont State Police spokesman Adam Silverman.

Chadwick is being held without bail.

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