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: Sheldon Shooting Death Ruled Murder  ( 2054 )
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« : July 12, 2005, 06:50:50 PM »

Sheldon shooting death ruled murder

Police seek help in investigation
By St. Albans Messenger Staff

ST. ALBANS Vermont State Police (VSP) have classified the shooting death of Kenneth Jerome, 33, of Sheldon, as a homicide.

Jerome was killed as he worked on the Diamond Hill Custom Heifers Farm on East Sheldon Road between 11 a.m. and noon on Thurday, July 7.

In a press release on Thursday, Vermont State Police said Jerome was driving a tractor and feeding cattle when he died of a single gunshot wound to the chest, a shot that originated from a rock ledge east of the farm.

That ledge is on land owned by Stephen and Shirley Harrness, whose son, Thomas, faced charges last year for allegedly threatening Jennifer Miller and Jerome.

Thomas Harrness pleaded guilty in September to stalking ~ harassment which stemmed from Miller's providing testimony in an arson-for-profit case brought against Harrness's brother Dennis, according to court papers. Court documents also reveal that Miller, who is Dennis Harrness' former wife, and Jerome said Thomas Harrness formed his hand into the shape of a gun and pretended to shoot at them outside Miller's home in March 2004. Miller and Jerome had a child together last November.

Thomas and Dennis Harrness also live on the East Sheldon Road and the heifer farm, owned by Terry Magnon, was the target of an arsonist In 2003.

Dennis Harrness is to go on trial beginning Aug. 2 in St. Albans, for allegedly setting fire to Thomas's home in 1999. Dennis was found guilty in January of counseling his then wife, Miller, to set fire to their trailer home in 2001. He received a two to five year suspended sentence with probation. Miller, as the state's witness in the case, was granted immunity.

Authorities searched Harrness family property last Friday. Police confirmed yesterday that search warrants were executed for the collection of evidence now being evaluated at the Vermont Forensic laboratory.

The Messenger received a report that a pickup truck was photographed by investigators and taken by police from the Stephen Harrness property late Friday afternoon. Police did not return phone calls seeking verification of that and other issues.

Police, in the written statement issued yesterday, said updated Information would be released when it will not compromise the Investigative efforts of detectives.

Lt. Brian Miller asked that anyone who observed suspicious activity or a person or in the area from which the shot was fired call the VSP Albans Barracks at 524-5993.

Henry Raymond
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