Sentenced to life without parole, Shelburne man who strangled his wife set to walk free

Editor’s note: Gregory FitzGerald strangled his wife, Army Capt. Amy FitzGerald, at their Shelburne home in 1993, and was sentenced to life without parole. However, in January 2021 Vermont Superior Court reduced his sentence to 35 years as a result of a civil complaint he filed, claiming his lawyer had not fully informed him of sentencing and plea bargaining offers. His release on furlough is now in works, the victim’s family says.

By Alan Zeltserman

In January, a number of news outlets in Vermont and out-of-state covered the story of the resentencing of Gregory FitzGerald on his conviction of first degree murder in the death of my sister Amy.  As you will recall, FitzGerald had been sentenced to life without parole in 1994, but through a resentencing agreement reached with the Chittenden County State’s Attorney he became presently eligible for parole after the awarding of “good time” credits.

Kindly note that I have been informed by Vermont DOC that FitzGerald has been classified as a Level B Offender.  With this classification, he is scheduled to begin 6 months of DOC programming in July after which he may be eligible for furlough release to live in the community under DOC supervision.  Frankly, with the possibility of furlough release, which we can’t oppose, it makes the question of parole irrelevant for all intents and purposes.  The issue will resolve to who supervises FitzGerald as he lives in the community  –  DOC or the parole board.

On January 11th, one day before FitzGerald’s resentencing hearing, my brother was told in a conference call with Chittenden County Deputy State’s Attorney Andrew Gilbertson and the victim advocate that the plan was for FitzGerald to complete 6-9 months of DOC programming and then be released to live with his sister, who had moved to Brattleboro to await his release.  Neither Gilbertson nor the victim advocate explained that furlough for FitzGerald was a possibility – or even what furlough was – to my brother.  We were led to believe by the State’s Attorney that we could fight against FitzGerald’s release by opposing his grant of parole.  But we have since discovered that there is no way we can oppose his release on furlough.  Apparently, FitzGerald’s planned release is now in the works.

State’s Attorney Sarah George had tied her decisions made in the case to her personal opposition to life without parole sentencing in an interview with the Seven Days Vermont news publication, although in a later interview with a different publication (VT Digger) she backed off that position.    All my sister had left in this world was that the Vermont Courts brought a measure of justice to her in sentencing FitzGerald to life without parole 28 years ago.  The actions of the Chittenden County State’s Attorney, in acceding to FitzGerald’s very weak appeal for reasons that appear to have had little to do with the legal issues presented in the case, have stripped my sister of that.

Both VT Digger and WCAX TV had covered the story of FitzGerald’s recent waiver of a scheduled parole hearing.  I had contacted both organizations concerning FitzGerald’s recent classification level and his likely ability to be released on furlough to live in the community.  Neither organization has shown an interest in doing a follow-up story.  In my view, by not following up on their previous reporting, they have provided the public with a misleading picture of the likelihood of FitzGerald’s release into the community.

The author is the brother of murder victim Amy (Zeltserman) FitzGerald.

Categories: Commentary

7 replies »

  1. Hate women much? Chittenden County, Progressives, and George Soros do! Oh, and but of course, they hate babies too.

  2. Watch Out Brattleboro! People better wake up because Vermont is becoming the cesspool of crime really fast all due to the Marxist Regime. It doesn’t take much for a little State to become crime-ridden. Wake Up People and Take Back your Local Government. Clean House of the Voting Machines, Drop Boxes, No Mail-In Voting – which is ripe for Ballot Harvesting, Fraud. Watch who is counting the Votes and what is happening to the Paper Ballots! All Illegal Voting Must End! Get rid of the “selected” officials that are ruining Vermont. Say “NO” and mean it.

  3. To Amy’s Family: My Father was her faculty advisor at UVM when she was earning her graduate degree, and he was deeply affected by her loss. He originally offered to host Gregory FitzGerald
    at his own home while dealing with the situation until it became clear that he was the prime suspect. In addition to offering condolences at this re-opening of the wound of Amy’s passing, may I also offer my sincere apologies. I offer apologies for the recent treatment of the case by this sad excuse for a prosecutor who currently occupies the office of State’s Attorney for Chittenden County, Sarah George. She has a solid track record as an embarrassment to the concept of criminal justice and victims’ rights in Vermont. If it offers you any comfort, the voters will have another opportunity this fall to send her packing. I also apologize for the shameful way the media outlets WCAX and VTDigger have failed to offer a comprehensive rendering of this miscarriage of justice and the obvious need for a legal remedy. Over the years, Vermont’s criminal justice system and many of it’s major media outlets have deteriorated into partisan, ideological agents of a pathological interpretation of social justice. They fail miserably in serving the needs of decent, law-abiding people.
    I still occasionally pass by Amy’s memorial tree outside the UVM building where she spent much of her time and do my best to keep the plaque tidy. I wish you all peace and comfort through this shameful debacle.

    • Rich, I was the secretary in your father’s office when Amy was a grad student and I still remember vividly the happenings of that day, and the shock and disbelief we all felt over her murder. Amy was so full of joy and life. The release of her murderer would be a great injustice to her family and to her memory.

  4. Well, I guess we know more about Sarah George now. Watch out Brattleboro residents, the next person in line at the Super Market could have strangled his young wife!

  5. may i add that over the course of a week my daughter and a friend tried for days and hours to see Sara George but she was NEVER at work and her staff had NO IDEA when she would be there.

  6. I would be ok for him to be released, when she can walk out of her coffin and into the loving arms of her family….oh, she can’t?? well, rot in h8ll then….