Brattleboro man charged with murder in August shooting

Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 4:28 PM EST
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BRATTLEBORO, Vt. (WCAX) - A Brattleboro man was arraigned Friday on 10 counts including second-degree murder. The alleged murder that left a Connecticut man dead happened last summer. But after a grand jury indictment, the man who police say pulled the trigger appeared before a judge.

“The grand jury is an investigative tool that we have at our disposal here in Vermont,” Windham County Deputy State’s Attorney Steven Brown said.

Nicholas Baker, 35, has been in jail since the August 2022 incident, held on a probation violation.

Friday, wearing an orange Corrections jacket and shackles, Baker was officially charged with second-murder after the facts of the shooting were presented to a grand jury.

“To help us collect evidence and determine what charges should be filed in a case, which is exactly what we did here,” Brown said.

Police were called to Baker’s Putney Road apartment complex last year around 9 p.m. on Aug. 19. According to court paperwork, Baker told police an intruder broke into his home and attacked him, at which point, the intruder was shot and killed.

That man was later identified as Michael Ledbetter, 31, of Hartford, Connecticut.

Baker said he used Ledbetter’s gun after it fell out of his pocket.

Police searched the apartment and found drugs and the gun used in the incident.

Prosecutors say the two men knew each other but declined to say why Ledbetter went to the apartment that night.

Along with the murder charge, Baker also faces several felony drug charges.

“I’m not going to talk about the specific fact other than to say that it was an unlawful shooting. We don’t believe the self-defense claim was valid,” Brown said.

Baker pleaded not guilty to all 10 counts. He is being held without bail.

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