Prosecutor: Police chief took suicide pistol

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MIDDLEBURY, Vt. (AP) – Prosecutors charging Vergennes Police Chief Michael Lowe with embezzlement say he converted to his own use a pistol that had been used in a suicide.

They say the 51-year-old lawman gave the handgun to fellow Vergennes police office Brent Newton in exchange for Newton buying some vitamin supplements for him.

Lowe, who was charged with driving under the influence of drugs following a June 7 fender bender, pleaded not guilty Monday to embezzlement, neglect of duty, possession of a depressant, stimulant or narcotic and two counts of fraudulently obtaining a prescription drug.

Lowe, who’s currently suspended, declined comment after the hearing in Vermont District Court in Middlebury.

The pistol, a Smith and Wesson model 586, was seized as evidence after it was used in a December 2007 suicide that Vergennes police investigated.

Prosecutors say Lowe agreed to give the weapon to Vergennes police Officer Brent Newton in exchange for Newton buying vitamin supplements for Lowe, but Lowe lied to him, saying he had the Attorney General’s office’s blessing for disposing of it that way.

It wasn’t immediately clear why Lowe would’ve wanted someone else to buy the supplements.

Assistant Attorney General John Treadwell, the prosecutor, wouldn’t comment when asked, nor would Goldsborough.

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