A 62-year-old Vermont farmer has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for murdering his daughter’s boyfriend and dumping him in a manure pile.
Stephen Pelletier had previously pleaded no contest to second-degree murder in the killing of Michael Wisell, 25, who was shot in the back and the head and had his throat slit, authorities said.
The farmer said his daughter was locked in an “abusive” relationship with Wisell that was fueled by violence and heroin addiction.
Judge Cortland Corsones accepted Pelletier’s plea agreement and sentenced him to 20 years Tuesday, with 10 years suspended.
Corsones admonished Pelletier for taking the law into his own hands and not reporting the victim’s abusive behavior toward Jessica Pelletier, his daughter.
The plea agreement followed two days of emotional testimony in Pelletier’s sentencing hearing, the Rutland Herald reported.
His daughter testified that Wisell introduced her to heroin, to which she also became addicted, and frequently threatened to kill her and her family.
The victim’s family members denied those claims and said Wisell was a kind man who was trying to get his life back on track.
He was killed in 2014. Pelletier acknowledge shooting Wisell in the back on his farm. He turned Wisell over and shot him in the forehead, then cut his throat after he was dead, he said.
"I gave into anger and did something terrible,” Pelletier told the court this week. “I understand I must be punished."