Newbury man, 70, charged with murder in shooting death of his daughter

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A Newbury man pleaded not guilty Tuesday to second-degree murder for allegedly shooting to death his 38-year-old daughter, who had gone to his home to check on him.

Vermont State Police say James Perry Jr., 70, killed Karina Rheaume, 38, also of Newbury, at his Deerfield Lane home Monday. Police were notified after an acquaintance of Rheaume’s went to the house and encountered Perry, who was armed with a rifle and told him that the woman was dead.

When troopers arrived sometime after 7 p.m. Monday, Perry refused to come out of the home. A tactical unit and crisis negotiators were called in and Perry surrendered peacefully at about 1 a.m. Tuesday, police said.

Perry allegedly told police he had been concerned for some time that unknown individuals were playing “gun games” with him and he had asked his daughter not to go to his house, a police affidavit said.

Perry said he aimed a 12-gauge shotgun at his daughter as she was trying to enter the home with cookies. He said he shot her through the door, went onto the porch and shot again. He then cut her neck with a pocketknife, according to the affidavit.

At his arraignment Tuesday in Vermont Superior Court in St. Johnsbury, Perry pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and reckless endangerment

The investigation by detectives with the Vermont State Police Major Crime Unit and other units is ongoing. The Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Burlington was scheduled to conduct an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of Rheaume’s death.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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