The suspected drug dealer who authorities say pulled the trigger in a Lamoille County homicide more than 18 months ago has been charged in a new federal indictment in connection with the death.

Taylor Ruffin Herrington, 35, of Philadelphia pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court in Burlington on Monday to a 3-count indictment, including firing the fatal shot that killed Michael P. Haines, 39, of Jeffersonville on March 3, 2020, while in the midst of drug trafficking.

The charge maintains Herrington carried and used a firearm while conspiring to distributing heroin and crack cocaine.

Herrington, who has been detained since his arrest March 19, made a virtual appearance from the Cheshire County, New Hampshire jail to enter his not guilty pleas.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Wendy Fuller said the government had not turned over all the case including search warrants from the last 6 months.

Chief federal defender Michael Desautels requested 90 days to consider pre-trial motions.

Judge Christina Reiss set the deadline at Feb. 21 and continued the initial detention order.

The new indictment also now charges a South Burlington woman with being an accessory after the drug-related homicide by being the getaway driver for Herrington, who eventually fled back to Pennsylvania.

Samantha L. Simms, 34, pleaded not guilty in federal court last Wednesday to her single charge of knowingly assisting Herrington “in order to hinder and prevent (his) apprehension, trial and punishment” on drug and gun charges, the indictment said.

Vermont State Police have said Herrington fired multiple shots into the Jeffersonville duplex of Haines, 39, and killed him about 3 a.m. March 3, 2020. Herrington initially denied a federal gun charge that could have netted him a life sentence, if convicted. He also had pleaded innocent to a heroin conspiracy charge

Simms drove Herrington to the house on Hillside Drive in her truck, witnessed the shooting and then brought him to Burlington, state police said. The shooting also was witnessed by the victim’s fiancée, who was home with her two children, police said.

Several hours later authorities set up Simms in a methamphetamine deal in Winooski to learn the full name of the shooter, who was only known as “Tee.”

Now the stakes are higher with new and more serious charges filed against Herrington — and Simms finally added as a defendant in the shooting case, which the indictment now classified as a manslaughter.

No state homicide charges have been filed in Lamoille County court.

Simms has been under federal supervised release terms and federal magistrate Kevin Doyle agreed during her arraignment to allow Simms to remain free on conditions. She is restricted to Vermont and not possess drugs, alcohol, any dangerous weapons and is subject to drug testing. She also needs to avoid witnesses and Herrington.

The prosecution did say after Herrington’s arrest that he confided to an unidentified person listed in federal court papers as a “source of information” (SOI) that he had killed Haines. “Herrington also told the SOI that Herrington had recently solicited several of his associates from Philadelphia to travel to Vermont to kill the witnesses involved in the case,” Fuller said in a motion at the time.

State police have said the Jeffersonville homicide appears to be over the reported theft of 60-to-70 bundles of heroin by Haines from Herrington, who had been visiting the residence for about a day. A few hours later Simms was busted for selling methamphetamine to a police informant.

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