Caballero Pleads Not Guilty in Montpelier Fatal Shooting

MONTPELIER, Vt. - After more than three months on the run, a Barre Town man faced a Vermont judge in the January killing of 33-year old Markus Austin.

Jayveon Caballero, 30, pleaded not guilty to 2nd Degree Murder in Vermont Superior Court in Barre Monday. He was ordered held without bail.

Caballero exchanged “I love you’s” with family and friends in the courtroom.

“Me and him have our issues but if somebody called and said that they needed something, he'd be the first one there to help somebody,” said Shannae Harvin, the mother of Caballero’s 16-month old daughter, after the arraignment.

According to the police affidavit, Caballero and Austin were friends. Austin listed Caballero in his phone as “My Boy Jay.”

That friendship turned violent in the early hours of January 22nd after a night out at Gusto’s in Barre.

Prosecutors say, a fight broke out in the bar parking lot. Austin and Caballero’s girlfriend, Desiree Carey, punched each other.

An upset Caballero is accused of “lying in wait” at Austin’s Montpelier apartment building and shooting him in the chest before Austin could park or fully exit his car.

While he is charged with 2nd degree murder, the state submitted in a Motion to Be Held Without Bail document that there is evidence to support a 1st Degree Murder charge.

“There is evidence that Defendant sought his victim, Marcus (sic) Austin, with malice...there was no obvious reason for Defendant to be sitting in a car in the apartment-building parking-lot at 4:15 on a Sunday morning,” state’s attorney Scott Williams wrote in the motion.

“Drinking and stuff come into play and silly females come into play, things go wrong, you know? Men feel like they gotta step up for their girls,” said Harvin.

“Heartbroken, heartbreaking. My sister's crushed. My whole family is devastated, I'm sure just like his is. God bless them all and sorry this all happened,” said Nelson Morales Jr., Caballero’s uncle, after being asked what it was like seeing him in the courtroom.

After the shooting, prosecutors say, Caballero boarded a Greyhound bus with the help of friends.

He was caught on May 4th in Deltona, Florida and extradited back to Vermont.

State’s attorney Scott Williams requested a no-contact order to be imposed on a list of witness, including Caballero’s girlfriend Desiree Carey.

“She was with him when he was arrested in Florida. Clearly, he knew he was alleged to be involved in a very serious crime and yet she was with him when he was in flight in arrest warrant status,” said Williams in court.

Carey, according to Williams, is facing her own pending drug charges and conditions of release.

Judge John Pacht granted that request for now.

The state’s attorney cited Caballero’s risk of flight and previous assault convictions, among other things, when requesting the defendant be held without bail.

“The potential for evidence of guilt to be great is strong and given at least the allegations that there's been a risk of flight, I will hold him without bail pending a hearing,” said Judge Pacht.

A bail hearing is set for Friday morning.

Caballero faces 20 years to life if found guilty of 2nd Degree Murder.

He’s being represented by defense attorney Maggie Vincent.


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