Drug charges admitted in plea deal
By ERIC FRANCIS
CORRESPONDENT | April 11,2013
ERIC FRANCIS PHOTO
William “Tree” Manson, 24, a painter from Springfield, was sentenced Tuesday to serve three-to-seven years for drug possession in a plea deal that saw the state drop assault and robbery charges from earlier this year.
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — A Springfield man was sentenced to serve three to seven years for drug possession as part of a plea agreement in which the state dropped a charge of assault and robbery.
William “Tree” Manson, 24, pleaded guilty in White River Junction criminal court Tuesday to felony counts of possessing heroin and cocaine. He also pleaded guilty to misdemeanor counts of unlawful mischief, driving with a suspended license and violating conditions of release.
Manson accumulated the charges in a series of incidents in Weathersfield, Windsor and Springfield dating back to the fall of 2011.
He had been arrested most recently in connection with the alleged beating of a man Jan. 29 in a public parking lot on Factory Street in Springfield.
A 21-year-old Windsor resident told police that he and a female friend had driven to Springfield with Manson that afternoon, and that Manson attacked him and stole his backpack containing a combat-style knife.
Prosecutors said the backpack also contained just-purchased drugs, which they said were Manson’s real target. But the assault and robbery charge was dropped, prosecutors said, in part because of concerns as to whether some of the witnesses would testify truthfully about their own activities.
As part of Tuesday’s sentencing, Judge Robert Gerety recommended that Manson, who moved to Vermont in 2008 and has a 1-year-old son in the Springfield area, be allowed to serve his time at the state Department of Corrections’ work camp, which gives inmates a chance to earn an earlier release date.