Angela Auclair will not be getting out of prison on bail in 2019, and at least two witnesses in the case are relieved – for the time being.
On Monday, Dec. 23, an evidentiary hearing in Vermont Superior Court was adjourned with witnesses still to be called.
Another date to finish the hearing couldn’t be scheduled until at least Jan. 13 because the judge and defense attorney Robert Sussman are unavailable until then.
Auclair, 47, has been charged with aiding and abetting in a murder and in obstruction of justice in connection with the shooting death of her husband David Auclair, 45. Her son – and David Auclair’s stepson – Kory Lee George, 32, has been charged with committing the murder. He has pleaded not guilty.
More than 15 people gathered in the small courtroom for the proceedings – the audience included family, friends and George’s lawyer, Public Defender Margaret Jansch.
Judge A. Gregory Rainville introduced the case saying the state was arguing Angela Auclair should be held without bail and that this case was a hearing on that issue. He said that the charge of aiding and abetting in the murder “has the potential of a life sentence.”
The body of David Auclair, 45, was found – with nine bullet holes in his body – off Gilman Road in Hinesburg at about 10:40 p.m. on July 11, state police said. It appeared that he had been trying to crawl under his truck to get away from his shooter.
Estranged but still together
At Monday’s hearing, George’s ex-girlfriend Angela Spinks was the first to testify. She said she had known the Auclairs and George for 17 years. Spinks said she lived with Kory Lee George for several months on Cat Tail Lane in Monkton, which is 2 miles from Hinesburg’s LaPlatte Headwaters Town Forest parking lot where David Auclair was murdered.
The home on Cat Tail Lane was also the home where David and Angela Auclair both lived, but in separate bedrooms on different floors of the house.
Spinks said that the Auclairs’ “wasn’t a happy marriage,” and that Angela Auclair would “sneak” her boyfriend John Turner in. George and his father’s relationship “had its issues” and “its ups and downs,” Spinks said.
Sussman repeatedly objected to the testimony on the grounds that it was hearsay.
“Your Honor, it’s the State’s position that how cordial were Kory and David Auclair goes directly to motive to why they ended up killing him,” said prosecution lawyer Susan Hardin.
The testimony was allowed, and Spinks said that George’s were “mixed feelings” for his stepfather.
Spinks testified she was in Angela Auclair’s vehicle when George and his mother had a conversation about killing David Auclair. Spinks said the mother and son talked about George getting a gun and a burner phone and planned how he would do it.
Hardin asked about the burner phone and Spinks said, “He was planning to get a burner phone, so that way he could call David and lure him so that way ... he could hurt him.”
They would use a burner phone so the police couldn’t trace it, Spinks said.
George was going to use the burner phone to call David and tell him “that he was in distress or needed help with his bike or vehicle,” she alleged.
She said Kory would use his motorcycle “because it’s easiest to get away.”
Concerns about granting bail
“If the court were to release Angela Auclair into the community after this hearing, would you have any concerns about that?” asked Hardin.
“I’m leaving the state,” said Spinks, “because I’m sure she’ll come for me next.”
Spinks began to sob and the judge called for a recess.
After the break, Sussman asked if this conversation had taken place after George had “dumped” her for Kristin Stillwell. After many questions about when the conversation had taken place, Sprinks said that she really didn’t know when it had taken place. She said she “tends to block things out when things get heated,” and that she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and is bipolar.
Stillwell, 18, was Spinks’ babysitter, according to testimony. She and George were married on Aug. 16 around a month after his father’s murder.
“Did you make up this story about hearing this conversation between Angela Auclair and Kory George because Kory George married Kristin Stillwell?” Hardin asked Spinks.
“I’m better off without him. Are you kidding me?” said Spinks.
Later in the hearing, a second witness began to cry on the stand.
Meaghan Parrott testified that on the night of July 11, George and Stillwell had visited her at her home. She described buying some ammonia for George. She said he wanted to use it to wash off gun powder residue because he’d been teaching Stillwell how to shoot.
Hardin produced an anonymous letter which Parrott said she’d received which was just signed with a “T.”
The judge admitted the letter into evidence, although Parrott said she didn’t know who sent it.
“After reading the letter, were you concerned for your safety?” asked Hardin and Parrott said she was, as she began to cry.
“If the court releases Angela Auclair would you have any concerns about that?” asked Hardin.
“I’m scared,” said Parrott. “Because I don’t know what’s going to happen. ... I could have never have thought it would get this far. I don’t know what’s about to happen.”
She said her concern was based on the letter: “I juggle my life around because of it. I don’t keep my daughter at home. I make sure she’s where it’s safe. I switch locations of job and I switch my vehicles.”
Parrott said she doesn’t know Angela Auclair.
Kristen Stillwell, who was not yet Kristen George at the time of the alleged crime, testified that the night before David Auclair’s murder she, Turner and Kory George went to Colchester so Kory could run an errand for his mother. They dropped Kory off.
After driving around, they returned, and Kory George rejoined them. He still had the backpack he’d taken with him.
Police say that video and electronic evidence shows that the Colchester home of James Synott, who also testified Monday, was robbed on July 10, while Synott was having dinner with David and Angela Auclair at the Lighthouse Restaurant in Colchester. Three guns were stolen including a 9-mm Beretta that was used to kill David Auclair the next night.
Last to testify was Detective Sgt. Angela Baker, who said she’d had multiple conversations with Angela Auclair.
“Is it true that you said to her at one point, ‘I can’t wait to arrest you’?” asked Sussman.
“Yes,” said Baker.