Woman charged with murder in connection with Burlington shootout

Published: Apr. 17, 2019 at 6:21 PM EDT
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New details about Tuesday's shootout in the Old North End of Burlington that left one man dead and another in the hospital.

We learned Wednesday that a woman is accused of helping the killers. Lesine Woodson, 32, now faces charges of accessory after the fact and second-degree murder.

Woodson is accused of driving the men who attacked and killed 23-year-old Benzel Hampton to North Willard Street. Police say she also drove them away from the scene.

Woodson is currently being held without bail and could face up to life in prison if convicted.

Our Erin Brown read through a copy of that affidavit and she also spoke with neighbors and city leaders to get their reactions.

Neighbors are shaken up and very emotional, especially those who knew Hampton personally.

Wednesday, a group of women stopped by the shooting scene to set up a memorial. They didn't want to speak on camera but they told WCAX News they were very close with Hampton.

Burlington police are vowing to take action and seek justice for Hampton.

"People gotta get killed to prove a point. What's going on in this city?" asked Charles Finnija, who lives on North Willard Street.

A memorial now sits outside 235 North Willard Street where Hampton, 23, was gunned down Tuesday afternoon after being attacked by at least two men in what police say could have been drug-related violence.

According to an affidavit WCAX News obtained, Burlington police interviewed a woman who claims to be Hampton's girlfriend. She told police Hampton received threats in the past from one of the attackers and also got a phone call from a blocked number earlier that morning. She said the unrecognizable voice threatened to shoot Hampton that day.

Hours later, as Hampton reportedly helped a friend move a mattress into her apartment, he was approached by two men, knocked to the ground, shot and left to die.

Burlington police say Hampton shot back hitting James Felix, who is recovering at the UVM Medical Center.

The shooting has shaken the entire city, including people living on North Willard Street.

Neighbors say they're horrified and worried. Some of them are now pleading with authorities to do more to curb gun violence.

"It seems like everybody coming in here is carrying a gun and that's the scary part. They should be frisking people. I think the law enforcement level should step up, I really do. I don't know what they gotta do, but I'll tell ya', it's scary," Finnija said.

Burlington police are vowing to take action and say they will hold those responsible for Hampton's death accountable.

WCAX also reached out to Max Tracy, the Progressive city councilor who represents that ward. He said, "We don't often see fatal shootings in Burlington but when it does happen, it's both scary and sad. Scary to see people engaging in gun battle but also sad that that resulted in the loss of a life in Burlington. I look forward to looking at what steps the Council could take to further prevent gun violence at the neighborhood level."