Putney woman's legal counsel urges court to suppress confession


BRATTLEBORO >> Attorneys discussed a case of a Putney woman facing charges of attempted first degree murder and aggravated domestic assault with a weapon.

On Thursday. July 14, in Windham Superior Court, Criminal Division, Fiona Gordon-Macleod, 69, was seen for these charges and her defense attorney, Christopher Montgomery, updated Judge Katherine Hayes on the case. According to court documents, Gordon-Macleod made a suicide pact with another woman, but when the other woman questioned their plan, Gordon-Macleod attacked her with a hammer in December of 2015.

State Attorney Tracy Shriver noted that she met with the victim's family on Monday and they said they do not want the victim to participate in the proceedings, which Montgomery says may present challenges in going forward with his case.

"The impact to this case is that the victim is not available anymore, she would be the person I wish to question," said Montgomery.

On July 6, Legal Assistant Maureen Carknard filed a motion to suppress the statements Gordon-Macleod made prior to, and during her interrogation and that those statements were made in violation of the Fifth Amendment (right to counsel) and the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

"Trooper Albright asked (Gordon-Macleod) direct and pointed questions that went well beyond initial necessary prefatory questions, but instead well into a full blown interrogation of whether Ms.Macleod assaulted (the victim) and why. At no time did Trooper Albright advise Defendant of her Miranda rights or to wait until she was properly Mirandized before responding to questions," states the motion to suppress.

During the court hearing on July 14, Shriver said her office will respond to the motion by July 22 and three witnesses will be called at the half day hearing on the motion to suppress.

Montgomery noted further challenges being that Gordon-Macleod lived a "secluded" life with no apparent social life and no daily caretaker or close friend that has come forward who had seen her interacting immediately days before the assault, according to Montgomery. He noted that he needs to address the client's mental state in days immediately prior to the attack.

In addition, Montgomery has filed a Notice of Diminished Capacity and a Notice of Insanity for the case. The defense has had the defendant evaluated by an expert. Diminished capacity relates only to a person's mental state at the time a crime was allegedly committed and insanity relates to a person's mental state; that can affect her competency (or not) and that can affect her guilt for a crime.

On Dec. 18, 2015, at just past 9 a.m., Vermont State Police Dispatch in Rockingham received a 911 call from Gordon-Macleod. According to the affidavit, during the 911 call, Gordon-Macleod said, "I believe I just killed someone." Troopers from the Brattleboro Barracks responded and while on scene, they saw that the victim, 77, appeared to have multiple severe head injuries and was bleeding profusely. Gordon-Macleod was taken into custody without incident and transported to the Brattleboro Barracks for processing. The Putney Fire Department and Rescue Inc. responded to the scene and the victim was transported to Brattleboro Memorial Hospital. The victim survived.

Gordon-Macleod is scheduled for a pre-trial conference on Oct. 6 at 10 a.m.

Maddi shaw can be reached at 802-254-2311 ext 275


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