A woman whose attempted murder case was dropped by Chittenden County prosecutors because she planned an insanity defense now faces federal charges for unlawfully possessing a gun.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for Vermont said a judge in Queens, New York, had ruled Veronica Lewis “mentally defective” in 2013, two years before she allegedly shot and wounded firearms instructor Darryl Montague in Westford in June 2015.
Lewis fled the scene with Montague’s firearm and ammunition in her backpack before her arrest later that day.
State’s Attorney Sarah George dismissed attempted murder charges against Lewis last week because she said prosecutors would be unlikely to successfully rebut an insanity defense. George also dismissed second-degree murder charges against two other suspects who were planning insanity defenses.
All three suspects have histories of mental illness and psychiatric hospitalizations.
George’s decision drew condemnation from Gov. Phil Scott, who has asked the Vermont Attorney General to review the case and decide whether to refile charges.
because was charged on TuesdaychargesFederal prosecutors are filing charges against a woman whose attempted murder case was dropped by a Vermont county prosecutor because an insanity defense was planned.
The U.S. attorney for Vermont told WCAX-TV that withafter having been adjudicated as “mentally defective” and possessing a stolen firearm.
Lewis was charged in the 2015 shooting of firearms instructor Darryl Montague at his Westford home. Montague survived being shot multiple times.
Federal officials say a New York court found Lewis to be “mentally defective” in 2013 in an unrelated case. They say she was not allowed to possess firearms and stole Montague’s gun after she shot him. The federal public defender’s office expects it will represent Lewis, but has not been appointed yet.