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Couple suspected in Highgate homicide face judge

(WCAX)
Published: May. 8, 2018 at 8:26 AM EDT
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A couple accused in a Highgate murder appeared in court Tuesday.

Police say Erika Guttilla executed her boyfriend, Troy Ford, in Highgate. When Ford's remains were discovered Saturday, police say Guttilla took off with her new boyfriend, Corey Cassani. Police say they captured the couple early Tuesday morning in South Burlington.

In court Tuesday afternoon, we learned new details about the case, including when police say Ford was killed and why the alleged shooter told police she did it.

Erika Guttilla, 31, of Highgate, was back in Franklin County Tuesday afternoon, this time, in handcuffs.

She's accused of murdering Troy Ford, 35, last winter and obstructing justice. She did not enter pleas to those charges in court.

New court paperwork reveals what Guttilla allegedly told police happened leading up to Ford's death. They say she told them the living situation at the home had become "unbearable," that Ford was abusive and she eventually began dreaming about harming him. She said, "It was inevitable what was going to happen."

Guttilla allegedly told investigators she and her mother agreed he had to go. And they say in early December, after a big fight, she told them that while Ford was sleeping, she put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger.

Police say they found blood on the mattress at the home and evidence of drug use. Guttilla's sister told police Ford supplied her family with drugs.

Erika Guttilla kept talking to police, telling them that after the shooting, she and her mother, Carmen, rolled Ford's body up in a rug and put it in the garbage bin on the back porch.

After that, Erika Guttilla told police it stayed there until she told another man about the shooting. She allegedly told police she moved the body in January and she had help from Corey Cassani, 28, her new boyfriend who she started seeing that month. She told police he helped her dump Ford's body at an abandoned playground off Darlene Drive.

Cassani denied those charges in court Tuesday. He pleaded not guilty to being an accessory after the fact and unauthorized burial or removal of a dead body. Cassani is being held on $50,000 bail.

Erika Guttilla is being held without bail and she will be back in court in St. Albans Wednesday.

Her mother, Carmen, 60, is also accused in the plot. Carmen Guttilla allegedly told police it was her gun that was used but Erika wanted to be the one to fire the gun. Carmen Guttilla pleaded not guilty Monday to conspiracy to commit a felony. She was held without bail.