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CT men released by judge after St. J drug raid now charged with violent shootings – including murder

Two Connecticut men arrested in a St. Johnsbury police drug raid in February, 2021 and then released by a Vermont judge are now charged with violent gun crimes in Connecticut – including one murder.

Sherod Aldon Hackett, 24, was released by a Vermont Superior Court Judge Michael Harris in 2021. He is charged with the November, 2022 shooting of a woman 22 months pregnant at an auto parts store in Connecticut, according to a report in yesterday’s Caledonian-Record.

Hackett, 24, was arrested February, 2021 during a St. Johnsbury police drug raid on a Portland Street home. After he pleaded innocent to felony fentanyl and cocaine trafficking, Judge Michael Harris released Hackett on conditions and a $25,000 unsecured (no money up front) appearance bond.

Hackett reportedly had a beef with a woman store employee who he claimed sold him a bad auto part, and promised payback. He shot the pregnant woman, a store clerk, in the leg and hip. Hackett allegedly also shot a store clerk in the abdomen. He’s been charged with first-degree assault and other crimes, and is being held on $1.5 million bail.

Hackett is the second Portland Street drug suspect to be charged with a violent gun crime. Paul Downer, 25, of Hartford, CT is charged with murdering a grocery store clerk in Hartford on April 22, the Caledonian-Record reported yesterday. After the St. J drug raid, Judge Harris released Downer on $5000 bail to live with his parents in Connecticut. He’s now being held on $2 million bail.

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