Man Shot By Trooper For Not Dropping Shotgun Pleads Guilty

BENNINGTON, Vt. (AP) — A man who was shot by a state trooper after he refused to drop a shotgun has pleaded guilty to aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer.

Bernard Rougeau, 50, pleaded guilty to the charge Wednesday in Bennington Superior criminal court in a deal reached with prosecutors, the Bennington Banner reported. He appeared by video from Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield.

Police had responded to a report in October 2018 that Rougeau was a danger to himself when they learned that he had ran into the woods near his home in Pownal with a shotgun. When he came out, he refused to drop the weapon and Trooper Thomas Sandberg shot him twice, wounding him. A police officer also used a stun gun on him when he did not release the gun after being shot, the newspaper reported.

The judge ordered a presentencing investigation after learning that the trooper opposed the two-and-a-half year sentence prosecutors had offered Rougeau, the newspaper reported. Rougeau has been in custody since he was arrested and could be released for time served if the judge approves the length of the sentence.

Under the deal, prosecutors would also drop three other charges against him. A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled.