BENNINGTON, Vt. (NEWS10) – The victim of Wednesday’s homicide in Bennington has been named as one of four suspects in an alleged kidnapping and assault of multiple people in Springfield and Chester, Vermont. Police said it all began on Saturday, July 30, when they got word of an abduction at a home on Stanley Road in Springfield.
Investigations revealed that four Vermont men, Jesse LaFlam Sr., Zachary Russell, Christopher Merritt, and Patrick Mullinnex, had allegedly held nine people at gunpoint inside a home. Three of the victims were children, under the age of 11. Police said the four men also assaulted the homeowner, who suffered minor injuries.
One of the victims was able to get the men out of the home. But that’s when police say the suspects robbed and held that victim at a separate place on Cummings Road in Chester. The victim was able to escape with minor injuries.
No one else was injured in the incident. Three of the suspects, LaFlam Sr., Merritt, and Russell, were arrested on Thursday and are facing multiple charges of assault and kidnapping.
The fourth suspect, Patrick Mullinnex, was shot and killed in Bennington on Wednesday. The Bennington Police Department is still searching for his alleged killer, Raul Cardona, 28, of Springfield, Massachusetts.
The three arrested suspects were jailed without bail. All three are scheduled for arraignment at 12:30 p.m. Friday, in the Criminal Division of Vermont Superior Court in White River Junction.