Pownal man shot by trooper faces federal weapons charges

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) A Pownal man who was shot and wounded by a Vermont state trooper last year now faces federal weapons charges.

The United States Attorney's office says Bernard Rougeau was arraigned in federal court in Burlington Monday after a grand jury indicted the convicted felon for possessing a firearm.

The charge stems from a violent run-in with troopers at his home in October last year. Police responded to a report that the 48-year-old was intoxicated and had intentionally cut himself. Rougeau emerged from the woods with a shotgun and Trooper Thomas Sandberg fired two shots at him after he refused to drop the gun. The Vermont Attorney General in January ruled that the shooting was justified.

Rougeau was ultimately transferred to state custody, where he remains while awaiting trial in Bennington County on charges of Attempted Murder in the Second Degree, Aggravated Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer, Reckless Endangerment, and Interference with Emergency Services. At the time of his confrontation with law enforcement, Rougeau was prohibited from possessing firearms under federal law due to his felony record.

If convicted of the federal charges, he faces a maximum of ten years of imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.