Prosecutor drops 3 cases over insanity defense

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — A Vermont county prosecutor is dropping three violent crime cases that involve an insanity defense, saying the state doesn’t have sufficient evidence to prove the suspects were sane at the time.

The cases include Veronica Lewis, who was charged in the 2015 shooting of Darryl Montague at his Westford home, Louis Fortier, who was accused in the 2017 stabbing death of 43-year-old Richard Medina in Burlington after a dispute; and Aita Gurung, who was accused of killing his wife with a cleaver and critically injuring his mother-in-law in Burlington in 2017. All pleaded not guilty and intended to seek the insanity defense.

Chittenden County State’s Attorney Sarah George announced Tuesday she’s dismissing the cases. She says justice for the victims is “in the hands of the Department of Mental Health.”

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