Evidence at issue in fatal hit and run

By Tom Benton

Staff Writer

Just
The Facts

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ST. ALBANS — The case of a Highgate man involved in a fatal hit-and-run returned to court Wednesday morning.

 

Luke Loiselle, 31, is charged with leaving the scene of a fatal crash and obstructing justice. Both are felonies.

 

His attorney, Mark A. Kaplan, has made a motion to suppress the evidence against Loiselle, arguing police violated both Vermont and U.S. Constitutions in the search that led to Loiselle’s arrest.

 

Judge A. Gregory Rainville heard Kaplan’s argument, and the state’s rebuttal, during a motion hearing in Franklin County Superior Court yesterday morning.

 

David Miller was the victim, struck down last December while walking along Route 78 in Highgate one Saturday evening. Autobody pieces retrieved at the scene the following morning indicated the vehicle involved had been a 2000 to 2006 GMC or Chevy truck or SUV.

 

The next day, Vermont State Police (VSP) Corporal George Rodriguez went to local auto repair businesses, including Labounty Auto, where he learned Loiselle drove a 2002 Chevy Tahoe — only he hadn’t driven it in a few days. He’d borrowed a car.

 

Rodriguez went to Loiselle’s house. There were no cars in the driveway but Rodriguez’s own; no one came to the door when he knocked.

 

He smelled an odor like that at an accident scene when he passed the garage’s bay doors. Peering through a two-inch gap in the bay doors, Rodriguez saw Loiselle’s blue Chevy Tahoe.

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