Man says he killed daughter’s boyfriend, pleads not guilty

A Castleton man told police he shot and killed his daughter’s boyfriend and buried his body beneath a manure pile because the boyfriend was physically abusing her, according to a police affidavit released Wednesday.

Stephen Pelletier, 58, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to first-degree murder.

He told police that he shot 25-year-old Michael Wisell, of Hubbardton, on May 14 as the two were stacking firewood in a sugar house, the affidavit said. He said he then used a tractor to bury the body the next day under a manure compost pile near his barn, police said.

He told police Wisell, who was living with the family, was physically abusing his daughter and verbally abusing the family.

“We’ve been living a hell,” he told police.

Pelletier was arrested Tuesday, two days after a family friend reported that Wisell was missing.

Police said they found Pelletier inside his barn, where he told Castleton Deputy Police Chief Steve Dechan, “I made a mistake.”


Hernandez arraignment scheduled for Wednesday

Aaron Hernandez’s arraignment on charges that he fatally shot two men in Boston has been scheduled for next week.

Hernandez is scheduled to be arraigned on two murder charges May 28.

Prosecutors say Hernandez shot Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado as they sat in a car in the city’s South End in July 2012 after a chance encounter at a nightclub.

The shooting was apparently unrelated to the killing last year of Odin Lloyd, whose body was found near Hernandez’s home. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty in that case.

Prosecutors are also seeking assistance from tattoo artists who may have inked Hernandez’s right arm between February 2012 and June 2013. Hernandez is known to have traveled to California, Florida, Connecticut and Rhode Island in that period. The tattoo artists are considered witnesses, not suspects.


High school track team escapes from burning bus

A track team from Mount Abraham Union High School in Bristol is safe after escaping from a burning school bus.

The coach told the Burlington Free Press that the fire burned the vehicle, the team’s gear and the students’ belongings Wednesday afternoon.

The team was en route to a meet in Winooski when the fire started while the bus was traveling in Hinesburg.

Coach Chris Nezin says the students escaped from the rear of the bus and walked about 200 yards away to safety.

Emergency crews said a second bus arrived to take the students from the scene.


Police: Man tried to steal Ted Williams baseball

Authorities say a Methuen man struck out when he tried to steal a baseball autographed by Ted Williams from a Marlborough sports memorabilia show.

Police say 45-year-old Michael Glidden took the baseball signed by the Boston Red Sox icon from a table at the show Saturday and walked away. A customer witnessed the theft and told the vendor, who found Glidden outside.

The MetroWest Daily News reports that when police arrived Glidden admitted taking it, but said it was a mistake, and offered to pay the $600 price tag.

Officers found that Glidden had an outstanding warrant out of New Hampshire. He was charged with larceny over $250 for taking the ball and with being a fugitive from justice. He was held without bail at his arraignment.


Governor seeking federal help for April flood damage

New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan is seeking federal help for North Country communities where recent floods caused road and infrastructure damage.

Hassan on Thursday asked President Obama to issue a major disaster declaration for the rain and flooding on April 15 and April 16. The storm brought significant rainfall after several warm days had caused rapid melting of snow, resulting in major road washouts. Damage in Coos and Carroll counties was estimated at $1.9 million and included a bridge failure that left a neighborhood temporarily cut off from the rest of the town.


Caterpillars defoliating trees throughout Rhode Island

State environmental officials say winter moth caterpillars are defoliating trees throughout Rhode Island.

The Department of Environmental Management said Wednesday that communities reported the emergence of millions of pale green winter moths in November and December.

State forester Bruce Payton says this spring those same communities are seeing what he calls an astonishing number of caterpillars defoliating trees.

They say deciduous trees including oak, maple, ash, basswood, elm, beech and fruit trees are affected. Leaves on affected trees are filled with small holes.

Researchers from the state, the University of Rhode Island and the University of Massachusetts Amherst released a fly that feeds on winter moths in early May. The public can report heavily defoliated trees to the department.