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EXCLUSIVE: Burlington Police Chief: “Court inexplicably released” attempted murder suspect

By Michael Bielawski,

It’s been reported by the Burlington Police Department that an attempted murder suspect has been released on conditions, and law enforcement is somewhat bewildered.

The narrative

In all, there are three separate releases by the Burlington Police Department spanning Saturday (3/16) through Monday (3/18) concerning the alleged attempted murder and subsequent release of the suspect.

The initial press release stated, “On [Saturday] at approximately 2:18 AM, the Burlington Police Department responded to Main St between Church St/S Winooski Ave. for a report of gunfire. Officers arrived to the area and initiated a preliminary investigation, preserved the crime scene and began interviewing witnesses.”

It continues that shortly afterward a man arrived at the UVM Medical Center Emergency Department for gunshot wounds.

“This male was determined to be a victim of the shooting that occurred on Main St. The victim was treated at the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries and discharged,” the report states.

The investigation may be complicated by the large number of people in the area at the time. The release continues, “An initial review of surveillance footage indicates that there were many people in the vicinity of the shooting.”

Later on Saturday, there was an update that they had found a suspect. It stated, “On 3/16/24 at approximately 7:00 PM, Jaiden Green, 19, of Burlington, was taken into custody by Burlington Police for the charge of 2nd Degree Attempted Murder.”

Green may have taken the shot that led to the police being called.

The release states, “Green is alleged to have discharged a firearm during an altercation in downtown Burlington at approximately 2:18 AM on 3/16/24, striking an individual who suffered a gunshot wound with non-life-threatening injuries. Green was ordered to be released on conditions by a Chittenden County Judge with a citation to appear in court on Monday 3/18/24 at 10:30 AM.”

Then there was a second update sent out the following Monday written by Chief Jon Murad. He does not sound pleased with the developments.

“But then the court inexplicably released Mr. Green on conditions,” he stated. “To state that again: he was released on conditions for an attempted murder. This is beyond bewildering, and beyond frustrating for the men and women of patrol who responded to a bar-closing shooting in the heart of our downtown, for the detectives who spent their weekend investigating and assembling a case for arraignment, and, most of all, for the victim who had a firearm pointed at his chest at close range and was shot in the arm.”

According to Murad, his staff was diligent in getting the crime investigated.

“Detectives prepared an affidavit and reviewed it with the Chittenden County State’s Attorney’s Office, which has been and remains a hand-in-hand partner on gun violence. When the evidence was presented to the court, the court approved the arrest. Our City should be proud of the speed and diligence with which our detectives responded and resolved this stage of the case,” he wrote.

Sarah George is the state’s attorney for Chittenden County and would have oversight over this development. It’s currently unclear whether she directly influenced the decision to release the suspect, but she has been under much public scrutiny for being allegedly soft on crime and letting repeat offenders back onto the streets too often.

“She also admits to firing prosecutors that she disagreed with and not formally charging offenders with crimes whenever possible, among other statements,” VDC wrote on Jan 4, 2023.

The author is a writer for the Vermont Daily Chronicle


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