BRATTLEBORO — A local man who allegedly made threats to commit a mass shooting and kill a Vermont State Police trooper and her 8-year-old daughter can now post bail and leave prison until psychiatric evaluations help determine how the case proceeds.
Steven Streeter, 30, of Brattleboro, can pay $1,000 in bail as he faces misdemeanor charges of criminal threatening, stalking and three counts of violating an abuse prevention order. During a bail review hearing Tuesday in Windham Superior Court, Criminal Division, Judge Michael Kainen approved conditions for release, which require Streeter to live at an address in Jamaica with a couple who agreed to take him in and with no firearms, abide by a curfew unless out with the couple, properly take psychiatric medication and have it monitored, and not contact the victims.
Deputy State’s Attorney Dana Nevins said Streeter used Facebook to make threats about killing himself and others, as well as fleeing to Florida. Nevins read a message thread Streeter allegedly wrote on Facebook saying, “I need to kill. I have to get my anger out.”
“I need to shed some blood,” the messages state. “I’ve got nothing to lose. You’re gonna throw a dead guy in prison, laughing my ass off. I’m ready to kill. We will see who is looking like a joke. I’m going to be all over the news. I can’t wait. I’ll be famous world famous for the most killings ever. Finally, I get to teach America a lesson.”
Public defender Mimi Brill said Streeter has been in jail for about seven months awaiting competency evaluations and in the meantime, a couple in Jamaica has agreed to take him in. Monica Covey, the wife, said Streeter has stayed with the couple before, and he could help them with their landscaping business.
Brill raised the possibility that the threats might have been authored by someone other than him. She also questioned whether Streeter truly would have acted.
“While these messages may be disturbing,” Brill said, “I think you still need to have the means and wherewithal for action. There has been nothing like that.”
Brill also noted Streeter has mental health issues, is being medicated for schizophrenia and has shown up for court hearings in the past.
“We have a good plan to keep everyone safe,” Brill said.
State police Detective Sgt. Megan Sheridan said Streeter started contacting her in June 2020 out of concern that he was being surveilled by the task force and to tell her about personal issues he was having with family members and extended family.
In December 2021, Sheridan told the court, Streeter sent her a text message saying he was going to shoot her. She said state police alerted her the next month that he made a public posting on Facebook that he was going to kill her and her 8-year-old daughter.
“Being in law enforcement, I knew there are risks associated to this job, and that at some point, my life might be threatened,” she said. “Even so, I signed up to protect and serve my community. My family did not sign up for these risks, nor do they deserve to be victims of a crime because of the job that I chose. When I learned that Mr. Streeter posted his intention to kill my family and more specifically, my daughter, it completely devastated me. Mr. Streeter wants to kill the most important people in my life.”
According to an affidavit filed by the Vermont State Police, Streeter sent Sheridan messages saying, “You’re a real piece of [expletive] meg and if ever catch you on the streets it’s game over you will be done ... Stay away from me and my family ... Before you get .45 to the head.”
Police said Streeter also posted in a Facebook group called “Mature Members scanner and Press releases,” threatening to kill Sheridan, her daughter and two other people, who also showed threats Streeter made to them by text message to police.
Sheridan said that since learning about the posts, protective measures have been put into place at her home, her children’s schools and a community center they frequent. She told the court she believes Streeter’s intentions to kill her family are real.
“It’s obvious when someone is obsessed with someone as much as he is, that there is a mental health issue,” she said.
Nevins said Streeter’s criminal history includes violation of a court-ordered curfew, six violations of probation, resisting arrest, and stealing and killing animals. Brill noted the cases date back more than 10 years ago.
The competency evaluation indicates that Streeter is “attempting to feign illness to get out of these charges,” Nevins said.
Nevins called for conditions related to the proper use of medication and having a curfew. He also argued against removing the requirement to post bail, which Brill said would be difficult for Streeter at the moment.
“I am happy to try this case,” Nevins said, “so that he does not need to be sitting in jail. But just because the defense ask for continuance is not a basis to conclude that the risk of flight that is inherent in all of these messages is any less.”
Brill told the court, “What we’re talking about is words and not actions.”
“I guess I’m thinking it’s thought police than actually action police,” she said. “Your honor, I do think we have a very good plan in place for him that makes lot of sense, for him to be in the custody of responsible adults. I do think there are definitely concerns in terms of the mental health evaluations, and I think that needs to be pursued, and that is what I’m doing. And I’m doing that diligently.”
Kainen described the threats being “on the serious side,” although they are considered misdemeanor.