Wednesday November 21, 2012

BRATTLEBORO -- A West Townshend man could serve up to 15 years in prison for shooting his daughter's boyfriend during a fight last year.

Edward Tetreault, 56, has pleaded guilty in Windham Superior Court Criminal Division to aggravated assault.

A sentencing date has not yet been set. Nor has a minimum sentence, though court documents show that Tetreault has agreed to ask for not less than five years in prison.

The charge carries a maximum sentence of 15 years.

The shooting apparently had roots in a Sept. 15, 2011, altercation at the family home on Route 30 in Townshend. Tetreault's daughter, Michelle, told police that she and her father argued about his driving while intoxicated.

After Tetreault pushed his daughter, her boyfriend, William McGuiness, became involved and head-butted Tetreault, according to a court affidavit.

The incident prompted Tetreault's wife, Elizabeth, to return home from Florida on Sept. 17. She found and confronted her husband at his woodworking shop in Grafton, where he "was mumbling and not making any sense, and she believed that he had been drinking," the affidavit says.

She told him to stay away from the Townshend home.

But later that night, police said Tetreault walked through the back door of that home while his wife, daughter and McGuiness watched television. Court documents state Tetreault was holding a Ruger MK II .


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22 semi-automatic pistol and asked, "Who wants to get shot first?"

A struggle ensued, and McGuiness was shot. Police said he suffered a facial laceration, a broken jaw and "holes" in the front and back of his left shoulder that were consistent with a gunshot wound.

He was driven to Grace Cottage Hospital in Townshend and later was airlifted to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H. for treatment of his injuries.

Just after 3 a.m. Sept. 18, state police arrested Tetreault without incident at the Grafton woodworking shop. He had "a large gash on his forehead, dried blood on his face and appeared to be in severe back pain," police said at the time.

In an interview with police, Tetreault "stated that he was guilty many times and that he should be locked up," the affidavit says. He also "asked if he had ‘put one in' McGuiness" and said "everything was blurry and he couldn't remember very much of what happened," police said.

Police also found a marijuana-growing setup when they arrested Tetreault. An addendum to his guilty plea says Tetreault's sentence for plants discovered in Grafton will run concurrently with his sentence on the aggravated assault charge.

Mike Faher can be reached at mfaher@reformer.com or 802-254-2311, ext. 275.