Official: Brattleboro Co-op shooter to plead guilty

Saturday October 13, 2012

BRATTLEBORO - A former Brattleboro Food Co-op employee who is accused of killing his manager is going to plead guilty in court later this month.

Richard Gagnon, 60, the former co-op beer and wine manager who is charged with first degree murder of fellow co-op employee Michael Martin, has a hearing set for Friday, Oct. 26, where he will plead guilty to killing Martin, Deputy Windham County State's Attorney David Gartenstein said Friday.

"The state and the defendant have reached a plea agreement to resolve the case," Gartenstein said. "It will now be the judge's decision whether to accept the parties' plea agreement and the sentence it recommends."

The plea agreement has not yet been filed with the court and Gartenstein said he could not say anything else about the case.

Gagnon allegedly brought a gun to work on the morning of Aug, 9, 2011 and shot and killed Martin while Martin sat at his desk.

Martin was Gagnon's superior and Gagnon had received a critical evaluation, which he was carrying on the day of the murder.

Gagnon had pleaded not guilty to the crime and his attorney, Kerry DeWolfe of Barre, was arguing that Gagnon was depressed at the time and suffering from diminished capacity.

DeWolfe was in Windham Superior Court on Sept. 17 arguing that a psychiatric report by Dr. Albert Drukteinis should be entered as evidence proving Gagnon's mental condition.

Gartenstein, at the hearing, said he wanted to bring in Dr. Robert Linder, a forensic psychiatrist, to evaluate Gagnon.

Discussions between the two sides were ongoing in preparation for the upcoming trial.

At the September hearing Judge David Suntag set a trial date for February 2013 and said the trial would likely take about three weeks.

Gagnon is being held at Southern State Correctional Facility and he faced life in prison before he changed his plea.

Howard Weiss-Tisman can be reached at or at 802-254-2311 ext. 279.


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