Damien Peatman, 25, of Eden, was arraigned on Jan. 26 and charged with the unlawful manufacture and distribution of cocaine and for possessing a firearm while doing so.
According to documents filed in federal court, Peatman was present in the house on Griggs Road last month when his father, David Peatman, was killed, and then fled the scene.
No one has been arrested for the murder.
The U.S. Attorney for Vermont Nikolas Kerest revealed in court documents that Damien Peatman told law enforcement he was in his bedroom when he saw several masked men inside the Eden home. He told police he fled through his bedroom window and ran toward a nearby treeline, leaving his father inside.
Peatman admitted to possessing cocaine in the house along with a 9 mm Ruger pistol he’d borrowed from a friend.
While searching the area around the Eden home, investigator recovered a plastic bag containing approximately 150 grams of cocaine and a plastic bag with methamphetamine.
Inside Peatman’s room, investigators found drug paraphernalia, including items used to cook powder cocaine into crack cocaine and distribute it, along with the pistol.
Kerest argued that even though Peatman has limited criminal history and a stable residence in Vermont, he should be held pending trial due to his issues with substance abuse.
The court released Peatman on the conditions that he does not engage in any substance use, including alcohol, possess a firearm, travel outside of the state or contact any other potential witnesses in the case.
On Dec. 1 at 10:20 p.m., police received a report of shots fired at the Peatman home, which he owns with his wife, Cindy. They subsequently found the 66-year-old shot dead in what police described as a deliberate and targeted homicide.
A preliminary investigation revealed that multiple people were at the house at the time of the murder, according to police, and all fled following the shooting.
Shawn Rich, 44, of St. Johnsbury, who was also briefly arrested and detained just hours after the killing, was also identified as a person of interest in the investigation.
Rich was charged that night with violating conditions of his release and resisting arrest, and released on bail.
Adam Silverman, the state police’s communications officer, confirmed Rich was a “possible person of interest” in the investigation but declined to release any further details.
This story was updated Feb. 9 with additional information and a new headline.
Welcome to the discussion.
Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexual language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be proactive. Use the "Report" link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.