Vermont man pushes to change law after capture of convicted murderer


BENNINGTON, Vt. (NEWS10) — Patrick Sears said he wants Vermont’s furlough laws changed after a convicted murderer cut his ankle monitor and fled mandated housing.

Sears witnessed William Wheelock murder his brother more than 30 years ago. He said his family was concerned for their safety while Wheelock ran free.

“I haven’t wanted to leave my house for the last week. I know my fiance is scared to take the dog out after dark,” Sears said.

Vermont’s furlough program provides a less restrictive environment for offenders consistent with public safety. Wheelock has violated the program a handful of times, including the most recent incident.

“I don’t know who to go to, I can’t get any phone calls back and I can’t get any information,” Sears said.

Sears said he’s contacted both state and local lawmakers for help to change the law, but has received little help.

“We have a chance to do the right thing after it’s been six times. Let do it,” Sears said.

Bennington Police Chief Paul Doucette in a statement to NEWS10 ABC said based on his review of the case, Wheelock should have never been released.


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