Donovan: Shooting justified

By Elaine Ezerins

Staff Writer

The Facts

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ST. ALBANS — The Franklin County deputy sheriff who fatally shot a Winooski resident last month will be resuming his duties here, Sheriff Robert Norris said Thursday.


Deputy Nicholas Palmier is currently on administrative leave, with counseling services available, according to Norris. No date was given for Palmier’s return.


The announcement was made during a press conference in Burlington, at which Chittenden County State’s Attorney T.J. Donovan said there would be no criminal charges brought against Deputy Nicholas Palmier.


“My ruling is the death of Jesse Beshaw by Deputy Sheriff Nicholas Palmier was justified,” Donovan said, because Palmier acted in “lawful defense of himself.”


The state’s attorney’s office came to this conclusion after analyzing whether Palmier had reason to believe he or another person was in imminent danger of being killed or suffering great harm, according to a statement released during the conference.


The Attorney General’s Office issued a press release, agreeing with the state’s attorney’s decision.


The statement also included a breakdown of the events leading up to the death of Beshaw on Sept. 16 and how Palmier became involved in a Winooski Police Department investigation.


Around 4:08 p.m., a Winooski police officer observed Jesse Beshaw, a suspect in several armed robberies and wanted on a warrant for a burglary, enter a residence on Union Street and radioed it in.


Within five to ten minutes, two additional officers arrived on scene and surrounded the house, waiting for additional support from the Winooski and Colchester Police Departments before approaching.


Around 4:17 p.m., Palmier drove by the residence, noticed the police vehicles parked out front and decided to pull over, asking one of the officers if they needed assistance. Palmier was on his way home from working a shift in Fairfax, dressed in full uniform and driving a marked Franklin County Sheriff’s Department vehicle. Officer Brenda Davis indicated they did.

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