Pownal man shot last year in standoff pleads guilty in federal case

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A Pownal man facing state charges related to an armed confrontation with Vermont State Police last October has pleaded guilty to a separate, federal charge of possessing a firearm after having been convicted previously of a felony.

Bernard Rougeau, 49, entered the plea at a federal court appearance on Aug. 19, court records indicate. The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont had announced the federal case against him several months earlier, in mid-April.

A sentencing hearing in the federal case has been set for Dec. 2 in Burlington, according to court records.

The Bennington County State's Attorney's case against Rougeau remains pending, court records show. Rougeau has pleaded not guilty to all four state counts: attempted second-degree murder, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, interference with access to emergency services and reckless endangerment. The next status conference in the case is scheduled for December.

The prosecutor handling the state case and Rougeau's defense attorney didn't immediately respond to emails on Thursday afternoon.

On Oct. 18, 2018, Rougeau was shot by Vermont State Trooper Thomas Sandberg after he failed to comply with a command to drop a shotgun, according to law enforcement. Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan announced in January that Sandberg would not be prosecuted for the non-fatal shooting.

Rougeau previously had been convicted of felony arson and driving under the influence, third offense, according to state law enforcement.

Contact Luke Nathan at lnathan@benningtonbanner.com.

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