By Evan Hughes
Friday May 28 the Federal sentencing hearing for Veronica Lewis, who shot Darryl Montague in Westford on June 29, 2015, was held in the Federal District Court in Burlington. Lewis participated remotely during the ZOOM broadcast.
The Federal court system does not make recordings of hearings accessible to the public. To view the hearing it was necessary to watch it as it happened this morning.
The defendant was charged with two federal crimes: the use and discharge of a firearm during the commission of a robbery and possession of a stolen firearm. The judge accepted the plea agreement between the U.S. Attorney and defense counsel. The sentence agreement complied with the federal sentencing guidelines.
The State of Vermont has jurisdiction for the charge of Attempted Second Degree Murder, for which sentencing is scheduled for today, Tuesday, June 1. Vermont law sets the minimum sentence for conviction of Attempt Second Degree Murder as 20 years.
The Federal hearing lasted for approximately two hours.
Veronica Lewis shot Darryl in a planned murderous attack, she left him to die and fled the area. Darryl’s mother found him. Lewis shot Darryl twice in the face and in the upper body. She had also brought a hammer to use in her killing attack.
Darryl Montague and his mother Ann testified in person, in the court room. Veronica Lewis testified remotely.
Ann Montague is now 90 years old. She testified first. She related how she had gone outside to tell Veronica Lewis and Darryl Montague that the lunch she had made for them was ready, only to see Darryl struggling from the gunshot wounds.
Ann said she tried to render aid to Darry. A neighbor stopped and called for first responders. Ann related Veronica Lewis was gone while Ann rendered aid to her severely wounded son. Ann said that after Darryl was rushed away by medical first responders she realized her clothing was soaked in his blood. She changed her clothing and got a ride to the ER.
Ann related the trauma of dealing with Darryl’s life threatening wounds and his extensive medical journey. She related how Darryl was in a coma for an extended period of time and was long in danger of dying of bullet wounds. Ann also testified Veronica Lewis shot Darryl just several weeks after his father, Harry Montague, had passed away. Harry and Ann had been married for 55 years.
Darryl Montague testified, speaking for a substantial period of time about how the intentional and planned murderous attack of Veronica Lewis had happened, the devastating wounds he sustained and his life since the shooting.
He listed some numbers at the beginning of his testimony. He explained those numbers at the conclusion of his victim’s statement.
He cited the seven photographs of his gunshot wounds: one photo of the two gunshots to his face and one of the gunshot wound to his abdomen.
Darryl stated 334 was the number of days he was hospitalized for the gunshot wounds from the attack of Ms. Lewis.
18 months was the length of time of the open wound for the gunshot to his abdomen.
1/4 of an inch was the distance of which the gunshot wounds to his face would have been fatal.
3/16 of an inch was how close the gunshot to abdomen came to his spine, which would have paralyzed him.
3 was the number of rounds Veronica Lewis had shot him.
3 feet was the distance from which his vicious attacker had shot him.
5 was the number of minutes had been from dying because the emergency medical personnel transporting him would have exhausted their medical supplies.
47 was the pints of blood used to keep him alive. The human body typically has 8-9 pints of blood.
Darryl related he is blind in one eye and deaf in one ear.
He has suffered extensive damage to his teeth and gums caused by getting shot in the jaw.
He has much more oral and dental work to be performed.
He has a very difficult issue with lack of balance.
He has suffers from Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
Darryl Montague related the terrible changes in his life since that awful day of June 29, 2015 that Veronica Lewis, a person he was trying to help, viciously attempted to murder him and fled to avoid apprehension and prosecution. He asked: “Why, why, why” in seeking some possible explanation for the attack intended to kill him.
Veronica Lewis will be sentenced to 72 months for the two federal crimes for which she appeared today.
The State sentencing in the Lewis case for Attempted Second Degree Murder will occur at 9:30 AM on Tuesday, 6/1. The State Court is located at 32 Cherry St, Burlington, and will be held in Courtroom 2A. Public access is very limited. It may be viewed remotely.