Habitual offender charged with murdering mother and son, stealing son’s truck

Also – Shooting, dead man in Rutland apartment / threatening at Woodstock Inn

by Guy Page

The Vermont State Police Sept. 2 arrested a suspect on murder charges arising from the shooting deaths of a mother and son whose bodies were found Friday night, September 1 inside their home in Whitingham.

The victims are identified as Michael Garvin, 52, and his mother, Lucy Garvin, 79, both of whom lived in the home at 2173 Vermont Route 8A where the incident occurred.

Through investigation, the Vermont State Police identified a suspect and learned that Michael Garvin’s truck was missing. Members of the Brattleboro Police Department located the vehicle Friday night, conducted a traffic stop and ultimately detained the driver, 54-year-old Christopher Ellis.

State police detectives learned that Ellis had been living with the Garvins since April. According to court papers prepared by detectives, Ellis shot Michael and Lucy Garvin earlier in the week and stole Michael Garvin’s 2001 Dodge Ram pickup truck, police say. The killings were reported to the Vermont State Police after a relative who was unable to contact the Garvins located them dead inside their home Friday night and called 911.

Ellis was arrested on two counts of first-degree murder and an additional charge of operating a vehicle without the owner’s consent. He was ordered jailed without bail pending arraignment, expected to be held at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 5 in the Criminal Division of Vermont Superior Court in Brattleboro.

The Vermont State Police was aided by the Wilmington Police Department in the initial response to the scene, and the Brattleboro Police Department in apprehending the suspect. State police are working closely with the Windham County State’s Attorney’s Office. VSP’s Crime Scene Search Team is processing the Garvin home Saturday. The victims’ bodies will be transported to the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Burlington for autopsies.

In 2018, Ellis – then of Whitingham – was charged with assaulting a woman with a box cutter and other crimes. According to a Brattleboro Reformer report, state prosecutors had the option of arguing for life imprisonment under habitual offender statute. Ellis reportedly was found guilty of unlawful mischief (1989), grand larceny (1994), burglary and grand larceny (1996), escaping custody (1999), and possession of stolen property (2015).

One man dead, another shot many times in Rutland apartment – Santoneio Miller, 35, of Albany was found dead in a Cherry Street, Rutland apartment Saturday September 2, Rutland police report. 

Police do not list Miller’s apparent cause of death. Responding to reports of a violent altercation, city police found an as-yet-unidentified man suffering multiple gunshot wounds. They also found Miller dead inside the apartment.

The incident is under investigation. 

Vandalism, threatening at Woodstock Inn – A 30-year-old man with an arrest record of violence and threatening has been arrested and charged with unlawful mischief and criminal threatening following a Sept. 3 incident at the Woodstock Inn, according to the Woodstock Police Department.

Connor Hersey (Police photo)

Connor A. Hersey is alleged to have spray painted the Inn’s brick wall and threatened an employee who discovered the vandalism.

Police say the incident occurred on Court Street on September 3, 2023.

Hersey reportedly fled the scene on a bicycle but was later located on the Woodstock Inn property on the morning of September 4.

Officer Tarleton, who led the investigation, established probable cause to charge Hersey. Woodstock Police located and arrested Hersey in the area of the Woodstock Inn on the morning of September 4, following a report of his whereabouts.

Hersey was lodged at the Southern State Correctional Facility and is scheduled to appear in Vermont Superior Court, Criminal Division, Windsor County on September 5.

Anyone with additional information is asked to contact the Woodstock Police Department at 802-457-1420.

In 2021, Hersey – who police said has mental problems – was charged with making public disturbances and threatening Hartford police with a knife, and making statements asking them to end his life, according to media reports. He previously was charged in a machete-wielding incident. – includes information from Newport Dispatch

Busted for furnishing alcohol to minors – Travis Omnik, 26, of Waterbury was cited this weekend for providing alcohol and tobacco products to several minors, and enabling them to consume it, on August 8, state police say. 

Categories: Crime

9 replies »

  1. The habitual offender status is an optional charge, that is rarely invoked. It should instead work like the point system on a driver’s operating privileges…once you reach that magic number of convictions of a particular severity, it’s off to the slammer you go. We can add the horribly inadequate criminal justice system to the current “eugenics policies” that we have in Vermont, since it inevitably results in the deaths of innocent persons at the hands of others.

  2. If the habitual offender had been dealt with properly back in 2018, this mother and her son would still be alive. What is it going to take to get the Vermont justice system working? The family of the two victims should bring a lawsuit against the state for not using an existing law to take him off the streets. He was obviously a danger to the public and someone didn’t care enough to protect us. Required too much effort I guess.

  3. We need the names of these State Prosecutors who chose to ignore this habitual offender that has now led to Murder. Moreover, how about a comment from the State Prosecutor’s office. what will they say? “whoopsie”? There needs to be accountability that leads to employment termination from these poor decisions as well as civil action against so-called prosecutors who continue to ignore the violent crime in this State.

  4. What am I missing. In other states someone who is designated as an habitual offender is put in jail.
    If this guy is indeed an habitual offender why is he out of jail? Is it part of Vermonts new and improved legal system where drug dealers are arrested and released time after time? Where there are virtually no repercussions for committing crimes? Where a lowlife intentionally kills an officer and is released to go live in another state? Good job Vermont!

  5. We need true leadership in the police department in Rutland Vermont..

    My left eye was injured when we went to doing inspection on a house that my sister-in-law owns along with the city building inspector.

    There was a squatter in the house however when we went there there was another person present who had been squatting along with him.

    I was filming the event when I was attacked by this person who jammed his phone into my phone hurting my eye while I was filming what was taking place..

    That happened a year ago and I still have an eye injury…

    The police have done nothing except lie about the incident that took place…

    I have a video of the incident that clearly shows what happened when I was attacked however in their story they claim the guy was sitting on the ground and we walked into each other…

    This is what they presented to the state’s attorney.. I went to visit the state’s attorney Ian Sullivan to point out that none of this was true and I asked if I could film him during our conversation…

    He told me if I wanted to film him that he was not willing to have a conversation with me.. so after I question him about the lies and the report what would he like to do about it he said there is nothing he can do about it….

    I have appeared in two police commission meetings where I presented evidence only to be told by Sean Sargent, (The chair of the police commission), thatI belonged in handcuffs and that I violated the civil Rights of he person who assaulted me.

    I was also called a liar by Sargent and the police chief about someone asking that a phone call be made that day… I told him it’s clearly in the video and if they watch the video they would find it..

    At first sergeant was going to let me sit and watch the video with him and then at the last second decided he would not do that…

    To this day I have never been apologized to by either of these people that called me a liar and a public meeting knowing full well they were either lying or had never viewed the video..

    I called the police department and spoke to a person there named Mary Kay and asked her how I would request information on body cams on the way the minutes are kept in the meetings and other questions I had about procedures and information that I would like to obtain..

    That was almost a year ago and to this date I have not heard a word from her…

    So now the situation is there are several members of the police department that have lied about the video that I took the day of the attack and I have the assault on video..

    The person that was in the house squatting was also convicted of holding a child at gunpoint up in the Burlington area as well as having other gun charges…

    He was not the person that assaulted me…

    I also reported the fact that there was all kinds of marijuana growing in the yard and my sister-in-law asked how could she get it removed from her property.

    We were told by officer Tavares that he would have someone from ATF getting contact with us to discuss what needed to be done…

    That was over a year ago and we have never heard a word from anyone..

    It took my sister-in-law from April until November to get this person out of her house… All the while she had to pay for utilities for him to be there..

    She also had to hire an attorney to get him out of her house and in the end it has cost her thousands of dollars and there is no recovery method for her for the money she lost.

    Ironically yesterday I was seated next to the gentleman who owns the house on Cherry Street where the shooting took place..

    He has been trying for 2 years to get people out of his apartment that don’t belong there at all that never rented from him.

    He has reported drug crimes taking place he has tried everything to have these people removed from his apartment.

    I have reached out to Sharon Davis who heads up the alderman committee on the police only to be totally disappointed by her total lack of concern.

    We are in trouble in Rutland Vermont and across the state as well because of law enforcement not doing its job and lying on paperwork especially paperwork reporting to the state’s attorney..

    And enduring this time I have been forced to go searching for information around City Hall to try to figure out what is going on with minutes of the police commission meeting…

    I submitted plenty of evidence in two meetings that never showed up in the minutes..

    There were complaints from people at the meeting about how they were treated when they called the police.. They said they wouldn’t call there because the police acted like they were bothering them when they placed a phone call about people selling drugs in their neighborhood.

    I was at City Hall a couple of weeks ago speaking to the woman who records the minutes of the police commission meetings…

    I had questions for her because every time I went to the page to read the minutes the last posting was in April of 2023 and that was as recent as last week,

    I wanted to know the process of the minutes and if anyone had the ability to edit them..

    Well I was speaking to her some woman who worked in City Hall came up screaming at the top of her lungs that I had been in the building too often and that I must leave the building at that moment… She said I had been in her office the other day however I had no clue who this woman was…

    When I asked her who she was she refused to identify herself I said that’s fine I will take a picture of you she turned and quickly walked away..

    I found out today at City Hall that that woman was Miss capusta who is the city clerk… The police were actually called that day because of her actions…

    I had three police officers approach me and I explained to them exactly what took place..

    I also have a video of that…

    When I went to get the report from that incident today after going to the police station three other times to try to pick it up there is absolutely nothing in the report that even comes close to what happened that day…

    I sat with a sergeant and asked him why none of the actual information about that incident appears in the report he said sometimes that happens…

    My personal belief is they did not want to name Miss Kapusta in the report…

    I really didn’t want to have to go to City Hall and seek out answers to my questions but I was forced to after waiting a year for Mary Kay to answer me however she never did…

    When I went to the records department at the police station today I was treated like I was some kind of a second class citizen for requesting information…

    Our problem stem from the people that are supposed to be representing us and serving and protecting us… That is no longer happening in our society…

    I’m still working on my case with the police but at some point I would love to have the media do a story on this because it’s sickening the way people are treated by public servants.

    Mr Sargent claims he mailed a package to me last November.. I never received the package and he was made aware of it last November..

    I have yet to receive a package from Mr Sargent.

    I have yet to receive an explanation for Mr Sargent as to why he thought a victim of an assault belonged in handcuffs..

    The problem we have is the people that are public servants don’t feel they have any accountability to the public…