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: Kenny Jerome Remembered By Farm Family  ( 3223 )
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« : July 23, 2005, 06:57:25 AM »

   


Joanne Magnan, here in the kitchen of her Sheldon home, discusses life in the town and on her family's farm in the two weeks
 since the shooting death of Kenneth Jerome, one of the farm's employees.
(PETER HUOPPI,Free Press)
 

By Erica JacobsonFree Press Staff Writer
Family remembers slain employee

Published: Saturday, July 23, 2005
By Erica Jacobson
Free Press Staff Writer

SHELDON -- Joanne Magnan sat at her kitchen counter Thursday morning and recalled how hard it was to get Kenneth "Kenny"
Jerome to eat vegetables when she cooked lunch for the farmhands on her family's farm.

The 33-year-old Jerome refused to eat anything green, Magnan said, and even turned up his nose at carrots. When Magnan marveled
at Jerome's tastes, she said his explanation was always the same.

"He'd say, 'I'm not fussy, I'm simple,'" Magnan said.

More than two weeks have passed since Jerome was killed by a single gunshot to the chest on July 7 at the Terry and Joanne
Magnan farm on East Sheldon Road, where he worked. In a state where homicide arrests usually come days, not weeks, after the
crime, police have been reluctant to name suspects or motives in the shooting and have said they are still following up on various
leads.

"We don't want to make any rash, uninformed decisions," said Detective Sgt. Gerald Charboneau of the Vermont State Police.
"It's asking a lot from a community to trust us almost blindly and we're doing all that we can."

"Certainly we would like to have wrapped it up a long time ago. It would be better for the community at large. It would be better
for the family."

In Sheldon, the community has wavered between protest and patience following Jerome's shooting.

Small slips of paper bearing "Hang Harrness" were flung around town in the days after Jerome's death.
Harrness is the last name of another farm family -- the Magnan's neighbors.

Police searched the East Sheldon Road home of Stephen and Shirley Harrness on July 9 but have not named
anyone in the Harrness family as a suspect. Court records regarding that search and others involved in the case
were sealed this week.

Martha Supernault, the Sheldon assistant town clerk, came to work one morning and found several dozen of the slips scattered in
front of the town's offices. Supernault said she swept up the slips, called police, didn't give the incident much thought and never saw
any more thrown in the lot.

At the Magnans' farmhouse, a forest of sympathy cards sit on a side table, a small, silent show of the support the family
has received from the community.

"We really want to find the people that did this, but we want to do this in a legal way," Magnan said.

The memories of Kenny around the farm are still fresh, said Magnan, who frequently talks with Jennifer Miller, Jerome's girlfriend and
the mother of their nearly 8-month-old daughter.

Jerome came to the family about seven years ago, Magnan said, as a wily 20-something. Magnan said Jerome grew up quickly on the farm
and idolized her husband, Terry Magnan. At the time of his death, Jerome was in charge of feeding the heifers the family raises for other
farmers. Jerome never left, Magnan said, until the day's work was done.

"We'll have to find somebody to take his job," Magnan said, "but there'll never be another Kenny.

"It was like finding a fourth son."

Contact Erica Jacobson at 660-1843 or ejacobso@bfp.burlingtonfreepress.com


Henry Raymond
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