RUTLAND, Vt. (WCAX) A Rutland man is charged with second-degree murder in the strangling death of Rutland mom Alicia Harrington, 44.
Shawn Laplant, 28, pleaded not guilty Friday afternoon. Police believe he was involved in a sexual relationship with Harrington.
Our Dom Amato was in court Friday and has more details about the case.
Police say Harrington feared for her life after Laplant threatened to kill himself and her in November when she told him she couldn't see him anymore. Harrington never reported the threat and that same man is now accused of her murder.
"Alicia was a member of our community and touched many lives with her concern and love. Her death has left a huge hole in our world," said Steven Howard, a spokesman for the Harrington family. "Now, they are left with the memories of what has been and the remorse of knowing what will never be."
Alicia's husband, Jaime Harrington, stood by and was in court to see the man accused of strangling Alicia.
Police say through interviews with friends, Laplant admitted to killing Harrington after an argument at his home on Chestnut Ave. Police say Laplant used a sleeping bag to move her body to her vehicle, which he left on the side of the road in Proctor with her body in the back seat.
"I want to thank Vermont State Police who have been working tirelessly around the clock for the last week. I think they've done our community a great service," Rutland County State's Attorney Rosemary Kennedy said.
Police searched Laplant's home last week for evidence. When police asked, Laplant denied any sexual relationship with Harrington, only admitting he occasionally sold weed to her. But police say Harrington admitted their affair to her husband.
The family spokesperson says Harrington's marriage wasn't perfect but the couple wanted to make it work, in part because of their 9-year-old son.
"They had worked through problems again and again and again. They had turned a corner and they were looking at a bright future," Howard said.
His lawyer says Laplant has no criminal history.
Laplant is being held without bail.