ST. ALBANS — A man found guilty of stalking a senior couple was sentenced Tuesday morning for driving under the influence while doing so. Sentenced again, that is.
Jason Gagne, 39, pursued Cheryl and Edward Sweet across St. Albans City in December 2013, after Cheryl, driving her husband to see the newly opened Walmart, honked at Gagne when he ran a stop sign.
Gagne chased the couple across the city, to Walmart and back, before police intercepted him just before the intersection at which he had met the Sweets.
Gagne was tried, in Franklin County Superior Court, in 2014. The jury found him guilty of simple assault by menace, reckless endangerment, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon — Gagne at one point threatened the couple with a rifle — driving under the influence, his third DUI charge, and negligent operation.
But the Vermont Supreme Court overturned two of those convictions in 2016. The Supreme Court determined the elements of the simple assault and aggravated assault charges are identical, and that a conviction for both is double jeopardy. The court dismissed the simple assault charge.
The Supreme Court also determined that the Franklin County Superior Court did not rightly convict Gagne of the DUI charge. Gagne said he feared that his conversation with his attorney would be recorded, a violation of his legal right to private attorney consultation.
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