BARRE — A judge has allowed a Woodbury man accused of trying to shoot and kill another man in June to go on a family vacation next month to Virginia Beach.
Brian McAndrew, 38, pleaded not guilty on June 20 in Washington County criminal court in Barre to felony counts of second-degree attempted murder and first-degree aggravated domestic assault with a weapon and a misdemeanor count of domestic assault.
If convicted, McAndrew faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
According to court records, on June 18, Vermont State Police received a report of gunshots and someone being injured in Woodbury. Police said a woman called 911 and reported McAndrew, her partner at that time, had shot her former partner.
Police said the woman reported McAndrew was held at the scene by a witness and she was administering aid to the victim.
McAndrew was located by investigators at the scene, according to court records. He was taken into custody and the handgun that had been used was seized. Police said the shooting victim was lying on the front porch with his pants saturated in blood because it appeared he was shot in the thigh.
Police said the witness reported he and the shooting victim went to the home because the woman, who was the victim of the domestic assaults McAndrew has been charged with, did not feel safe around McAndrew. According to court records, McAndrew had threatened the woman with the gun and had pointed it at her.
The shooting victim reported McAndrew first shot toward his head, but missed and ended up shooting McAndrew’s own vehicle near the porch, according to court records. Police said the shooting victim reported he grabbed the muzzle of the gun, pushed it down and McAndrew fired a second time, striking him in the leg.
The state had asked that McAndrew be held without bail while the case is pending. McAndrew’s attorney, Jessica Burke, asked for bail and conditions of release.
On Aug. 25, Judge Kevin Griffin issued a decision denying the state’s motion to hold McAndrew without bail. Instead, the judge ordered McAndrew would be held on $15,000 bail with 10%, or $1,500, needed to secure his release.
Bail has since been posted on his behalf and he has been released to the custody of his sister, Danielle Thibodeau, who is acting as a responsible adult where, if McAndrew is found to have violated his conditions of release, Thibodeau must alert authorities as soon as possible or she may face her own criminal charges.
Burke had since filed a motion asking for McAndrew’s conditions of release to be modified. A hearing on the motion was held Monday morning at the courthouse in Barre.
Burke was asking for two changes. McAndrew’s sister lives in Sharon, so Burke asked that McAndrew be allowed to go with his sister to New Hampshire to shop or for medical appointments, given those services are more readily available for him in that state. The state did not object to that change.
The second change from Burke was a request to allow McAndrew to go with his family on a vacation to Virginia Beach from Oct. 1-9. Burke said Thibodeau is going on the vacation and asked that McAndrew be allowed to join so that his sister can keep acting as his custodian.
Burke said she didn’t want McAndrew put back behind bars while his sister was away. She also suggested McAndrew could be released to the custody of his boss, who also watches over him while McAndrew is working.
She said there would be no alcohol involved in the trip, nor any other issues that would impact McAndrew’s conditions of release. Burke said the family has rented a house for the trip.
Thibodeau said the trip involves spreading the ashes of a family member on the beach.
She said since McAndew has been released, “he’s grown into his uncle role” with her children.
“I just think it’d be best to keep him with us and keep our routine,” she said, adding the trip could help “reboot” her brother mentally by getting him out of the state for a bit.
Deputy state’s attorney Tim Lueders-Dumont objected to letting McAndrew go on the trip. The prosecutor said beyond the seriousness of the crimes McAndrew is accused of committing, keeping McAndrew’s pattern consistent in this state is a good thing.
Judge Griffin said he would allow McAndrew to go on the trip. He said the willingness of Thibodeau to serve as a responsible adult for her brother was central to his thinking in denying the state’s motion to have McAndrew held without bail.
“The court’s not aware of any issues or problems since Mr. McAndrew has been released. And the court suspects that that’s in no small measure (thanks) to the type of guidance and support Ms. Thibodeau has been extending to Mr. McAndrew,” he said.
The judge said the same supervision plan would remain in place, it would just continue in another state temporarily. Griffin noted spreading the ashes appeared an important event for the family.