Still no charges in Rutland hit and run
By Brent Curtis
STAFF WRITER | April 19,2013
More than a week after a fatal hit-and-run crash in Rutland, state prosecutors said they are still not ready to make an arrest or file charges in the case.
Wednesday marked one week since Jane Outslay, 71, of Mendon, was killed by a vehicle that struck her while she was crossing the street on Strongs Avenue near the heart of the city.
The next day, former Rutland City attorney Christopher Sullivan, 53, came to the police department where he identified himself as the driver and surrendered his damaged 2004 Lexus sedan to police.
But a week after that development, Vermont Assistant Attorney General Cindy Maguire said Thursday that, while the investigation continues to focus on Sullivan, no charges have been brought in the case and she declined to say whether a timeline was in place for reaching a decision.
“I have no information to provide other than the investigation is continuing,” Maguire said.
The delay in bringing charges has been a source of frustration for some in the community who began voicing their complaints the day after Sullivan came forward.
In a press conference last Friday at the Rutland Police Department, a resident made pointed remarks about the lack of an arrest. And in Facebook postings on the Rutland Herald’s page alone more than 100 people have weighed in on the delays.
Most contend that Sullivan has received special treatment and is the beneficiary of a double standard because he remains free and has yet to be charged with a crime after telling police that he hit “something” while driving on Strongs Avenue that Wednesday night.
Members of the Outslay family have said they have been focusing on laying her to rest and are satisfied with the progress of the criminal investigation.
Police said the car he was driving that night was found parked behind his garage with significant damage to its hood and windshield.
Rutland Police Chief James Baker has called assertions of a double standard or special treatment “ludicrous” and has said city investigators have been working with Vermont State Police to prepare “pending” charges.
A former Windsor County state’s attorney and a state police crash reconstructionist not involved in the case have also said there could be a number of legitimate reasons why an arrest and charges have been delayed in the case.
But neither police nor prosecutors in the case have been willing to talk about what investigatory issues remain to be settled.