Vt. woman arrested in shooting death
NEWBURY, Vt. - A Newbury man was shot to death at his home on Christmas night, and a woman Vermont State Police describe as an "acquaintance" of his is in custody and is expected to be charged Thursday with second-degree murder in the killing, state police said Wednesday at a news conference in St. Johnsbury.
Dale Rock, 43, died of a single gunshot wound to the head, the Vermont State Medical Examiner's Office determined Wednesday during an autopsy.
The work of some 18 police officers throughout the night Tuesday and into Wednesday morning resulted in the arrest of Anne-Marie Whiteway, 51, of neighboring Bradford, Vt., Detective Maj. Ed Ledo told reporters, after police responded to a report of "multiple gunshots" about 10 p.m. Tuesday.
"The subject was shot in a one-room structure," Ledo said, on Doe Hill Road just south of Newbury Village near the intersection of Route 5 and Snake Road. Ledo described the home as a "storage shed" that had been converted to living space. It's on property across the Connecticut River from Haverhill, N.H.
Whiteway is being held at the Southern State Correctional Center in Springfield. She's scheduled for arraignment at 12:30 p.m. Thursday in Vermont District Court in White River Junction.
Rock, a lifelong resident of the area, was a familiar figure in the Newbury village of Wells River and in nearby Woodsville, N.H.
His landlord and longtime friend, John H. Perry-Hooker, who lives near the crime scene, said Wednesday evening that Rock worked mostly in road construction, much of the time in New Hampshire, including in the Bethlehem and Twin Mountain areas.
While state police declined to go into detail about the relationship between Rock and Whiteway, Perry-Hooker said the two had formerly been romantically involved.
Perry-Hooker said he gathered information Wednesday that Whiteway arrived at the home Tuesday night and opened fire on Rock, leaving after she had "run out of bullets."
"The short version is that Dale cooked dinner for a lady friend Tuesday night, and (Whiteway) arrived, pushed the door open and just started shooting. She hit Dale, but she didn't shoot anyone else," Perry-Hooker said.
Ledo - commander of the state police Criminal Division - said two people he described as "witnesses" to the shooting were in the home at the time.
Perry-Hooker said Rock has a wife, LaDonna, who lives in Michigan, and who has been notified of her husband's death.
Rock had a criminal record that dated back at least 25 years, and he was well-known to state police and local officers who patrolled the area between Bradford and St. Johnsbury.
"He does have a criminal past, mostly property crimes. They both have records," Ledo said of Rock and Whiteway.
Ledo said police were on the lookout Tuesday night for a dark-colored Subaru Legacy they believed Whiteway used to leave the scene. He said they arrested her later at a Bradford residence.
"In a homicide case, you want to act as soon as possible," said Ledo, who commended numerous police officers who gave up holiday time with their families to investigate the case. Police could be seen working throughout the day Wednesday, gathering evidence at Rock's home.
Perry-Hooker, 90, described himself Wednesday as an Anglican clergyman, a description he has used for years. ?No stranger to controversy himself, Perry-Hooker has, over the years, been embroiled in numerous battles with local town officials and police over various issues that have sometimes involved civil court action.
He acknowledged Wednesday evening that his friend, Rock, "had issues" and could be difficult to deal with at times.
He said Rock helped him out with various chores, including grounds keeping and caring for numerous birds Perry-Hooker keeps. Perry-Hooker said their arrangement had included his promise to leave real estate to Rock as an inheritance.
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Bob Hookway may be reached at email@example.com.