Saturday November 17, 2012

MONTPELIER (AP) -- A St. Johnsbury attorney is appealing a decision by a Vermont judge who refused to dismiss criminal charges against a man accused of driving over seven police cruisers with a giant farm tractor because of the way the prosecutor in the case was appointed.

In a five-page decision issued Friday, Orleans County Superior Court Judge Howard VanBenthuysen dismissed the motion by attorney David Sleigh.

Sleigh argued the charges should be dismissed in about 20 cases, including that of Roger Pion, because Orleans County State's Attorney Alan Franklin was appointed to a full-term after his predecessor resigned to take a job in the administration of Gov. Peter Shumlin. Sleigh argued the governor should have called a special election.

Sleigh immediately filed an appeal in the case.