A New York man who died Monday after being shot during a violent domestic incident in which police say he repeatedly stabbed his ex-girlfriend was scheduled to appear in a Granville, N.Y., court Tuesday for a hearing on pending charges of domestic abuse and violating a no-contact order.
Two days after Aaron Allen, 28, of Hudson Falls, N.Y., was shot during an incident in Danby, police continue to investigate whether his killing at the hands of Michael White — the 24-year-old Danby man now dating Heather Thompson, Allen’s former girlfriend — was justified.
Vermont State Police also released more details Tuesday about the incident in Danby.
Detective Lt. Kevin Lane, the lead investigator in the case, said the shots that killed Allen — who was reportedly using a kitchen knife to repeatedly stab Thompson at the time — were fired from a .30-06 rifle that White used to shoot the New York man, first in the leg and then the side.
Lane also said that White called 911 for help after the incident.
Allen was pronounced dead hours later at Rutland Regional Medical Center but Thompson, who underwent surgery for her injuries, was expected to survive. Lane said he didn’t know her condition or whether she remained at the hospital. A hospital spokeswoman said no information about Thompson’s condition could be released.
Lane said police are continuing to gather and analyze evidence in the case, which will be turned over to the Rutland County state’s
attorney’s office. No charges have been filed against White, who remains free.
His family members have described his actions on Sunday as self defense on behalf of another. But Lane said Tuesday more investigation was needed to determine whether the shooting was justified.
The family members, who say they had been threatened by Allen in the past, also wanted to know why more wasn’t done in the past to punish Allen for violating the New York court order that required him to stay away from his ex-girlfriend.
“This could have been prevented,” White’s stepmother, Debbie White, said Monday.
White said she didn’t know how many times Allen had visited Thompson’s home on John Corey Road in recent months. But she said he had been there multiple times in violation of the court order and asked why police hadn’t arrested him.
Lane said Tuesday he was unaware of any calls that state police had responded to at the Danby residence or any incidents at all involving Allen prior to the stabbing and shooting Sunday evening.
Lane added that police were aware of domestic charges pending against Allen in New York and he said a review of police contact with Allen was taking place at the same time as the investigation into the shooting.
“We’re certainly looking at the whole history of what was related and what led up to this point,” Lane said.
Granville, N.Y. Police Chief Ernest Bassett said Tuesday that his department had investigated Allen multiple times for alleged abuse against Thompson.
In March, Thompson told police that Allen had held her against her will for four hours in a Granville home, Bassett said. The complaint led to a misdemeanor charge of unlawful imprisonment against Allen, who was arrested in April.
On March 31, Thompson was granted a no-contact order from a New York court that prohibited Allen from communicating with her in any form. He allegedly violated that order less than a month later when Granville Police say Allen made harassing phone calls while he was visiting Florida.
He was arrested and charged with violating the court’s no-contact order May 21. He was released on his own recognizance, police said.
New York Corrections officials said Tuesday that Allen had quit his six-year job as a corrections officer at a maximum-security prison in Comstock, N.Y., on May 7.
Bassett said he was unaware of any violations of the no-contact order in Vermont where he said law enforcement has the authority to enforce the New York court order.
Allen denied the misdemeanor charges against him in New York but a prosecutor in the Washington County district attorney’s office in New York said Tuesday Allen had been offered a plea deal that would have been part of the discussions at the court hearing scheduled for this week.
Katherine Henley, first assistant district attorney in the New York prosecutor’s office, said in an email interview that Allen had been offered a deal allowing him to plead guilty to criminal contempt and menacing in the third degree with a sentence at the court’s discretion and a five-year no-contact order of protection for Thompson.
Henley also said the judge in the case had indicated that he was considering imposing jail time if Allen pleaded guilty to the charges in the deal.
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