Habitual offender found passed out in stolen car cited and released, police say

And given release conditions by judge despite felony charge

Christopher DeGreenia

By Guy Page

A Lyndon man whose arrest and prompt release in June spurred an angry letter from a state senator was found passed out in a stolen car in St. Johnsbury Sunday, July 9. 

At the request of the local prosecutor, Christopher DeGreenia, 33, of Lyndon was “flash cited” by local police and released for a July 10 court appearance. In court he pleaded innocent and allowed to be  released on conditions and $500 bail – despite having Habitual Offender status, according to local police.

DeGreenia is well-known to local police, and to readers of local media and Vermont Daily Chronicle readers. The June 1 VDC reported that DeGreenia, while prohibited from possessing firearms, was jailed after police found him in St. Johnsbury in a car with a loaded AR-15 propped up on his knee. He also was found in possession of cocaine. However, he was released by Judge Justin Jiron on conditions and low bail, prompting Sen. Russ Ingalls (R-Essex/Caledonia) to exclaim in a letter to fellow senators, “An assault weapon, cocaine and warrants, and is out on $200 bail, and this guy [Jiron] is still a Judge!?”

The charges faced by DeGreenia reportedly were misdemeanor gun possession and drug charges, therefore limiting bail to $200 by state law, the Caledonian-Record reported today. 

According to a St. Johnsbury police report, on July 9 police officers Jasmine Hendry, McKendrick Johnson and Davis Guyer were dispatched to a report of two individuals passed out in a vehicle, at the gas pumps of Maplefields. Upon arrival, they found Degreenia and Brandy Moses, with Degreenia in operation of a Red Nissan Altima, which was reported stolen on July 5 by William Debonville. Degreenia was also in violation of his conditions of release, both a 24-hour curfew and not to operate any motor vehicle, police say. 

Since the vehicle was reported stolen more than 24 hours before it was recovered, Degreenia was charged with Aggravated Operation Without Owner’s Consent (Felony). Being charged with this Felony made Degreenia a Habitual Offender as he had more than three prior felony convictions in Vermont, police say.

Degreenia was Flash Cited by St. J PD to appear in Vermont Superior Court, Caledonia Unit Monday, July 10 to face the charges. When VDC inquired about the reason for the flash citation, Ofc. Guyer responded that it was at the request of the deputy county prosecutor. 

In, DeGreenia pleaded innocent and was allowed to be released on conditions and $500 bail, the Caledonian-Record reported.

Categories: Crime

14 replies »

  1. I don’t know who appointed this judge or set the new laws but they need to be put in jail themselves.

  2. I guess he has to kill someone before the state gives gives him three hots and a cot ?

  3. Sorry to have to inform all of you, but this is the result of a law that was passed a few years ago. I don’t remember any discussion of the law when it was proposed, but the police are only doing what the law says they must do, give the accused a piece of paper to appear in court and then release them. Do you think the bad actors on our streets already know this? Of course they do.

  4. One can read this and think “This guy doesn’t think that the law applies to him.” And you would be right….but then, why should he respect any law – he has been repeatedly shown that there is no consequence to doing just as he pleases. Not allowed to drive? Who cares – just steal a car and go. What’s gonna happen? Get caught with an assault weapon and drugs? Violate conditions, pass out at a gas pump in a stolen car? No biggie, again, nothing will happen. Personally, I’m afraid that one of these times it will escalate into something deadly because he has never been held accountable. He is behind the wheel so stoned that he passes out, he is stealing cars, doing drugs, possessing weapons…..anyone expect this end well? Don’t blame the police….this situation exists because our legislators created laws that literally hamstring law enforcement. It has to be so frustrating to keep arresting the same people and watch them walk. No wonder Vermont can’t keep officers or hire new ones. Hope you can all stay safe out there Vermont – we are certainly not being protected by our esteemed politicians.

  5. Let me ask the obvious question here…

    If you aren’t going to uphold the gun laws (especially the ones that matter) why create more? Furthermore, why do I need to adhere to them if they don’t apply to everyone.

  6. Should have been less to make sure he gets out in time to do the crimes that were next on the agenda.Surreal world that Vt judges live in that will only end when when the rest if VT wakes up—- which won’t be anytime soon.

    In all probability the arresting officer will be going to jail due to waking this jerk from his deserved slumber.

    A condition should have been release to the judges house as he released this individual on the rest of us..

    The well has been poisoned.

  7. My neighbor, Scott Toupin, has harassed me for5 years. He has a criminal record and a pattern of acting out as soon as his probation or whatever restrictions for previous crime ends. The judge refused to so much as grant a Restraining Order.

  8. It all comes down to money. If you’re going to be lock these dregs of society up—pre or post trial—you need a place to put them. The legislature is simply unwilling to spend the bucks building another mansion for misfits. They’d rather believe in rehabilitation for repeat offenders.

    • Balderdash. They can’t operate a jail any better than balance a budget. They do steal and lie better than ones being arrested off the street. As it is the criminals are running the State from top to bottom, may as well let them all run free – don’t want to seem hypocritical do they

      • Spot on. “They can’t operate a jail any better than balance a budget”

        Didn’t they make it so that most offenders end up out of state in the last decade?

  9. He’s a good boy, just confused and needs a social worker and a nice pod. Give him money, so he won’t have to commit crimes.

  10. This is an obvious case that should be only handled by our US Attorney using federal gun laws, which are TOUGH when implemented. A felon in possession of a gun while committing another serious crime can get 10 years in club fed. Vermont judges and prosecutors are a joke. If only some of these serious miscreants would target Vermont prosecutors, judges and legislators in their crime sprees, they may see things differently.

  11. And some day soon, when he is high and smashes his stolen car head-on into some innocent Vermonter as she is on her way to work, it will be called a “tragic accident”. In fact it is not an accident at all, but a logical and natural consequence of bad decisions — a whole string of them, from lawmakers to judges to the criminal himself. And every one of the decision makers along the way should be sued by the family of the victim for wrongful death.

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