Plea Deal For Former Vt. Trooper Falls Apart

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A plea agreement for a former Vermont State trooper accused of assaulting two men he believed stole his canoe appears to have fallen apart.

Eric Howley was to plead no contest to two counts of simple assault.

The Rutland Herald reported that Judge David Suntag asked about Howley’s post-traumatic stress disorder Monday, and later suggested Howley take responsibility for what happened. He said he didn’t have to accept a no contest plea, noting it was a "case of violence."

The 40-year-old Howley of Wilmington resigned in May. Court papers said he repeatedly slammed a man’s head on the trunk of his cruiser and pushed another man into a rock at a lake in April. They were in a canoe Howley identified as his and that he had reported stolen.

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