The man charged with stabbing 29-year-old Fern Feather to death has been ordered to remain behind bars.

Seth Burnell, 43, will be held without bail on second-degree murder charges after Monday’s hearing in Lamoille County Superior Court. He has pleaded not guilty.

His attorney, David Sleigh, had argued that Brunell, described by police as a transient, should be granted bail and released to the custody of friends. 

“It appears that Mr. Brunell does not have a significant history of violence,” Sleigh said. “That he probably has no history of failure to appear, he has a history of employment.”

Police say Brunell stabbed Feather to death in Morristown April 12. On Monday, Feather’s friends and loved ones filled the courtroom. 

“Fern is my dearest friend, he is immensely important and special to me,” Pixie Pascoe said. “He had this way about him that as soon as you said hello you knew that you were completely accepted, everything about you was okay.”

Pascoe said it was a relief that Brunell was not released on bail.

“I know a lot of people feel unsafe, I feel unsafe with the idea of him being in public without supervision,” Pascoe said. “I am glad that is not going to happen because that would be a scary situation for us all and especially the queer community.”

The Pride Center of Vermont’s SafeSpace Anti-Violence Program is offering free counseling and other support to survivors of violence and discrimination.