Jose Pazos, accused in 2010 Burlington killing, has died

Local News

BURLINGTON, Vt – A man accused in the death of a Burlington woman nearly nine years ago, has died.

Chittenden County State’s Attorney Sarah George confirmed Jose Pazos, 53, died Friday.

According to a report this week from VT Digger, Pazos was in critical condition at University of Vermont Medical Center as of Wednesday.  George confirmed Pazos died from complications of a heart attack.

Pazos was accused in the brutal death of social worker Kathleen Smith in October 2010.  He never stood trial for Smith’s death, because as recently as August 2017, he was found incompetent to stand trial.  At the time, the judge said the court was not convinced Pazos had overcome his delusional beliefs, or that he’s able to discuss his case with his attorney in a rational manner.

“Although disappointed that we are precluded from the opportunity to seek his conviction and hold him accountable for the murder of Kathleen Smith, we hope that her family may achieve some measure of closure with the knowledge that he has remained in custody since his arrest and no longer poses a threat to public safety.”

“We remain grateful to the Burlington Police Department for their swift investigation and hard work in apprehending Mr. Pazos within a few days of Kathleen’s murder in 2010,” George said in an email Friday.

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