The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced that Veronica Lewis was charged yesterday by Criminal Complaint in U.S. District Court with unlawfully possessing a firearm after having been adjudicated as mentally defective, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(4), and possessing a stolen firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(j). Lewis was arrested this morning, and will appear today in federal court in Burlington.
According to court records, Lewis had been adjudicated as mentally defective on October 16, 2013, in the Queens County Criminal Court, due to a judicial finding of mental incapacity. This prior judicial finding precluded Lewis from thereafter lawfully possessing firearms and ammunition under federal law. On June 29, 2015, Lewis allegedly used a Smith & Wesson Model K-22 .22 caliber revolver to shoot firearms instructor Darryl Montague in Westford, Vermont. After the shooting, Lewis fled, taking Montague’s firearm and ammunition with her. Later that day, Lewis was arrested and Montague’s firearm was seized from Lewis’s backpack. She was also observed attempting to hide .22 caliber ammunition in a toilet paper roll in her holding cell.
If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum of ten years of imprisonment on each count. The actual sentence however, would be determined by the Court with guidance from the advisory Federal Sentencing Guidelines. The United States Attorney emphasizes that the charges in the complaint are merely accusations, and that the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until she is proven guilty.
United States Attorney Christina E. Nolan commended the investigative efforts of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and the Vermont State Police (VSP).
The United States is represented in this matter by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Ophardt. Defendant Lewis is represented by the Office of the Federal Public Defender.
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