Dean Will Not Appoint Special Prosecutor

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Governor Howard Dean has concluded that no special prosecutor is needed to investigate the fatal shooting by police of a man who disrupted a Brattleboro church service in December. Rockingham Democrat Michael Obuchowski and Putney Democrat Steve Darrow had requested that Dean appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the shooting.

The two Windham County lawmakers have also introduced legislation that requires an independent investigation when police use deadly force.

Witnesses say Robert Woodward acted distraught and carried a small knife when he was confronted by Brattleboro police last month. Obuchowski says that a special prosecutor could help Woodward’s family learn the truth about what happened.

(Obuchowski) “I talked with the family [on Tuesday] and I’m convinced that what they’re looking for is the truth. I put myself in their shoes as best I can and the conclusion I come to is, whatever we can do together as Vermonters to help them find the truth in this situation is what we should be doing. That opportunity rests in the governor’s hands.”

The Vermont State Police and Attorney General William Sorrell are investigating the shooting. But Obuchowski says he’s concerned that state police have already made up their mind about the incident.

Dean spokeswoman Susan Allen says the governor has confidence that the attorney general’s office can uncover the facts in the case and take any appropriate actions.

(VPR staff/wire report)

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