Doctor pleads not guilty to Vermont truck driver shooting

Vermont News

ROCKINGHAM, Vt. (AP) — A doctor pleaded not guilty Monday to a second-degree murder charge in the fatal shooting of a delivery truck driver in southern Vermont more than two years ago, Vermont State Police said. Jozsef Piri, 49, of Naples, Florida, was arrested earlier this month and charged with the death of Roberto Fonseca-Rivera on Nov. 1, 2019, on Vermont Route 103 in Rockingham.

Piri was initially ordered held without bail. Lawyers agreed to a $250,000 cash bond if certain conditions were met. Prosecutor Steven Brown said the conditions included that Piri turn over to police any passports and firearms in his possession. If Piri posts bail, he will also be required to follow a strict curfew at his home in Naples, Florida.

Fonseca-Rivera, 44, was found shot to death in the produce truck he was driving on Route 103 in Rockingham after a coworker at a Hyde Park, Massachusetts, produce distributor told police the GPS on the truck indicated the vehicle had not moved in some time.

The two men did not know each other, police said. Sometime prior to his arrest Piri, an internal medicine physician, moved from West Simsbury, Connecticut, to Naples, Florida.

A police affidavit filed in the case said that at the time of the shooting Piri was returning home to Connecticut from his property in Londonderry, Vermont, where he kept a number of firearms. He was driving immediately in front of Fonseca-Rivera just before the shooting, police said, based on surveillance footage, GPS data, photographs, and other information.

The affidavit said the evidence showed that Fonseca-Rivera was shot from outside the cab of his truck in a way that is consistent with it being fired from another vehicle. Piri’s vehicle was also seen on surveillance video footage from multiple sources as being directly in front of Fonseca-Rivera’s truck, the last time just under a mile from where the victim was found dead.

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