South Royalton man denies killing estranged wife

Published: Mar. 16, 2018 at 1:53 PM EDT
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Grief and anger Friday as an accused killer appeared in a White River Junction courtroom. Frank Sanville, 70, is charged with shooting his estranged wife, Wanda, 48, in South Royalton.

It was an emotional day in court for Wanda Sanville's family. They are wondering what could have been done to prevent this tragedy.

"How do I feel about it? I just want to... I don't know, I don't know what to say. There's no words to it. He's a murderer and that's what he is, a cold-blooded murderer," Todd Hosmer said.

Hosmer was at his sister Wanda Sanville's home the morning she was killed. Hosmer's 5-year-old son was playing a game on an iPad with Sanville when her estranged husband, Frank Sanville, entered the home.

"I don't know, it happened so fast," Hosmer said. "He just walked right in and boom!"

Hosmer said Sanville cocked the gun and told him "you're next." According to court documents, Hosmer was able to push the gun back into Sanville's face and hit him several times until Sanville dropped the gun. That's when Hosmer realized his 5-year-old son was watching the whole thing.

"I had to pull him from underneath my sister's body. I don't know, it was bad, bad, bad. I never want to go through that again," Hosmer said. "It's tragic, it's hard, my son's going to counseling now and he's taking it really bad."

Frank Sanville has a long history with law enforcement. Court documents show multiple assault charges, an arrest for lewd and lascivious conduct with a child, and most recently a felony domestic assault charge for allegedly beating Wanda Sanville. He pleaded not guilty. The charge was reduced to a misdemeanor, meaning less jail time for Sanville. The family still doesn't understand why he was let out so soon.

"I don't think the family could've done anymore but I think the state of Vermont needs to pick up a little," said Gail Shute, a family member.

The family says Frank Sanville threatened Wanda three days in a row prior to her murder.

"The state sucks as far as domestic assaults. We've called his PO many times about his threats Mr. Sanville, the murderer, was giving her and they just didn't do anything about it," Hosmer said.

Sanville's lawyer tells WCAX News he just got the case and is looking forward to thoroughly and zealously investigating the allegations.