Former Brattleboro police officer found dead

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COLCHESTER — A former Brattleboro police officer, who was arrested on charges of domestic assault and criminal threatening last month, apparently took his life with a handgun as police were seeking him for a new complaint this week, Colchester Police said.

Sean M. Wilson, 46, was found dead inside his residence in Old Fort Ethan Allen in Colchester on Monday afternoon. Death was attributed to an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, Colchester Police Chief Douglas M. Allen reported.

It was unclear where the handgun came from or who owned it. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is helping trace the gun's ownership, police said.

Wilson was under a judicial order to surrender all weapons after he had pleaded not guilty in January to a charge of domestic assault on his girlfriend and a second count of criminal threatening one of her friends who attempted to provide her shelter and protection, a court affidavit said.

South Burlington Police, which had arrested Wilson on the two charges in January, had received new information Monday concerning a potential violation of a court-issued abuse prevention order, Chief Shawn Burke said.

Officers from both South Burlington and Colchester made several efforts to locate Wilson after the new complaint. Allen said the Colchester officers received information that Wilson was back at his residence about 2:20 p.m. and that he was threatening self-harm. A thorough check of the area was undertaken and this time the suspect's truck was located in the parking lot, Allen said.

There were no responses to either knocks on the door or to phone calls. Officers eventually entered the residence and found Wilson dead, Allen said.

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Colchester Police and the office of Vermont's Chief Medical Examiner are continuing the death investigation. South Burlington Police are still investigating the potential court-order violation.

Wilson's law enforcement career in Vermont included a stint with Brattleboro Police from July 2016 to Nov. 2018, followed by shorter stints with the Essex Police and the Franklin County Sheriff's Department.

South Burlington Police said in court papers that Wilson's girlfriend reported she had been subjected to more than 100 physical incidents by him since 2015.

Judge Martin Maley ordered a mental health clinical assessment for Wilson, who his girlfriend said had put a gun to his head and stated he was going to kill himself on Jan. 18, a police affidavit said.

If Wilson was eventually convicted, he faced up to 18 months and up to a $5,000 fine on the domestic assault charge and up to one year in prison and up to a $1,000 fine for the threatening count.

Wilson began his Vermont law enforcement career in 2016 with Brattleboro Police, where issues later surfaced about ties to his landlord, who was facing a federal felony charge of conspiracy to distribute cocaine in Massachusetts, records show.

Windham County State's Attorney Tracy Shriver wrote Brattleboro Police Chief Michael Fitzgerald on Sept. 21, 2018 noting that she had serious concerns about the connection between Wilson and Lorenzo Deconinck, who had been recently indicted in the federal drug case.

Wilson denied all the claims through his then-lawyer Craig Nolan. Wilson then left the department and joined Essex Police. He lasted there about four months and later joined the Franklin County Sheriff's Department, also for a short stint.


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