Notorious Vermont offender offered plea deal in alleged kidnapping

 Harley Breer-File photo
Harley Breer-File photo (WCAX)
Published: Jun. 5, 2020 at 6:12 PM EDT
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Prosecutors have offered another plea deal for one of Vermont's most notorious repeat offenders, Harley Breer.

The Marshfield man was accused of kidnapping and assaulting his girlfriend in 2018. Police say he slammed her head into the center console of his truck and then took her to a home in Marshfield. Prosecutors were seeking repeat offender status for him but now they've agreed to a deal to let him out.

The defense team investigator turned up some new information that was not available to WCAX. Washington County State's attorney Rory Thibault says they still had enough to go forward, but the plea deal maximizes public safety in the long term.

It's the latest in a long string of plea deals that prompted the state to take a hard look at its habitual offender policies. Back in 2011, Breer faced life in prison after he reportedly beat up and threatened his then-girlfriend and led police on a manhunt that put many Central Vermont towns on edge for days. Even then, he was already violating parole for a 2003 kidnapping conviction of his ex-girlfriend's mother back in 1999. Prosecutors also charged him for rape in that case but couldn't make it stick. He spent eight years in prison for that crime.

In 2017, prior to the latest assault charges, he told the judge he was a changed man. "Some of it's maturity, some of it's I've grown up. But today, I find myself looking at different things like how became a grandfather in the last five years. So, I've got a different set of priorities," Breer said.

He will be on home confinement until November. After that, he'll be on furlough for up to three years.