This booking photo released by the Vermont State Police shows Stephen Pelletier, 58, of Castleton, Vt.
This booking photo released by the Vermont State Police shows Stephen Pelletier, 58, of Castleton, Vt. (Vermont State POlice)

CASTLETON (AP) - A Castleton man told police he shot and killed his daughter's boyfriend and buried his body beneath a manure pile because the boyfriend was physically abusing her, according to a police affidavit released Wednesday.

Stephen Pelletier, 58, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to first-degree murder.

He told police that he shot 25-year-old Michael Wisell, of Hubbardton, in the back and forehead May 14 as the two were stacking firewood in a sugar house, the affidavit said. He said he then used a tractor to bury the body the next day under a manure compost pile near his barn, police said.

He told police Wisell, who was living with the family, was physically abusing his daughter and verbally abusing the family. "We've been living a hell," he told police.

Pelletier was arrested Tuesday, two days after a family friend reported that Wisell was missing.

Police said they found Pelletier inside his barn, where he told Castleton Deputy Police Chief Steve Dechan that he had been hiding, the state police affidavit said.

"I made a mistake," he told Dechan, according to the affidavit.


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