New details are coming out about the deadly stabbing in Morristown. 43-year-old Seth Brunell, who is being accused in the death of 29-year-old Fern Feather, was set to appear in Vermont Superior Court on Wednesday, but will be arraigned on Thursday after defense attorneys asked for more time to speak to their client face-to-face.
On Tuesday, police found Feather’s body along the side of Duhamel Road in Morristown, and an autopsy determined the cause of the death was a stab wound to the chest. Brunell was found in a nearby car.
The case has shocked the community.
“The community is outraged and devastated by this violent act,” said Aliena Gerhard, the Deputy State’s Attorney for Lamoille County. “We will pursue it fully and we will make sure justice is served. This type of crime just shakes everybody and I would just ask the community to know that you are in very safe hands here.”
At the scene, Brunell told police that Feather had made unwanted sexual advances toward him, but police found no evidence of a struggle, and the affidavit shows no weapons were found on the victim. Paperwork also shows Brunell did not answer police when asked if he killed Fern.
According to the affidavit, a friend of Fern’s alleges that she spoke to Brunell on the phone after the incident and he told her that he killed Fern.
The case has drawn the attention of some in the transgender community. There is a Facebook post in which Fern Feather identifies as a transgender woman and Vermont Governor Phil Scott is showing support to the state’s transgender community. In a statement, Scott says, “Across the country, we have seen disturbing hostility towards the transgender community. Unfortunately, recent events show we are not immune to this in Vermont and we must commit to continuing our work to make Vermont a more inclusive and welcoming place. Exploiting fear and targeting divisive rhetoric at people who are just trying to be who they are is hateful and that can lead to violence.”
Governor Scott called on Vermonters to do their part to make sure everyone feels safe and to engage in conversations from a place of empathy and understanding.
Brunell’s arraignment will take place on Thursday at 1 pm.