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December 19, 2016

UPDATE - POULTNEY HOMICIDE, ADDITIONAL ARREST

***UPDATE***

 

During the investigation into this shooting, State Police detectives learned that John Testa had been staying at the residence of Jeremy Fifield at 47 Roberts Avenue, Poultney.  The shooting occurred in the driveway of 47 Roberts Avenue.  During the investigation, Fifield discovered that a debit card and cell phone had been stolen from his residence on the night of the shooting.  During attempts to locate Testa to interview him regarding witnessing the shooting, detectives learned that the card was being used at locations around Rutland.  Subsequently, surveillance videos recovered showed a male subject who appeared to be Testa. 

On the morning of 12/19/16, Testa was spotted by detectives in Rutland city.  Detectives had secured a search warrant for Testa’s person and he was taken into custody without incident. 

During continued investigation, it was confirmed that Testa had possessed and used the stolen debit card from Fifield. 

In conjunction with the investigation into the shooting, Detectives were coordinating with Sgt Dale Kerber of the Fair Haven police department who had investigated an assault and robbery which had occurred on 11/28/16 at the apartment of Ryan Lowell (23) of Main Street in Fair Haven.  During this incident, Lowell reported that in the early morning hours of 11/28/16, he awoke to someone trying to force entry to his apartment.  Lowell reported he armed himself with his .40 caliber handgun and then two male subjects broke into his apartment.  He reported a physical altercation where he was hit with a crowbar, injured and disarmed.  Lowell was able to recognize one of the male subjects as Andrew McCrea (22).  He reported that the two subjects stole his pistol and a safe.  Since this incident, Fair Haven police department had been attempting to locate McCrea who was believed to have left the state.  Fair Haven police have applied for an arrest warrant for McCrea for assault and robbery and burglary in connection to this case. 

During investigation on 12/19/16, detectives determined that Testa was the second male subject involved in the assault and robbery against Lowell. 

Further investigation into the shooting of Hein, it was also determined that earlier in the evening prior to the shooting, Testa and Hein had burglarized a farm stand in Poultney. 

Investigation revealed that Testa had been in possession of Lowell’s stolen .40 caliber pistol.  On the night of the shooting, it was this pistol that Testa retrieved and brought into the vehicle occupied by Bailey, Hein, Czarnecki and Testa.  The charging affidavit released today following the arraignment of William Bailey details the account of the shooting that occurred inside the vehicle. 

Jonathan Testa was charged today with the following offenses:

 

  1. Assault and robbery       (Lowell robbery)

  2. Aggravated assault          (Lowell robbery)

  3. Burglary                               (Farmstand, Poultney)

  4. Possession of stolen property    (.40 caliber from Lowell robbery)

  5. Petty larceny                     (Theft of Fifeld’s debit card and cell phone)

  6. False personation            (Use of stolen debit card)

  7. Involuntary manslaughter (Involvement in shooting of Hein)

 

Testa was lodged in Marble Valley on no bail per the Honorable Judge Corsones.  He will be arraigned on 12/20/16 at Rutland Superior court.  More detailed information surrounding the charges above will be released via charging affidavit following arraignment. 

PHOTO OF TESTA



Captain JP Sinclair

Chief Criminal Investigator-Major Crime Unit

Vermont State Police-HQ

45 State Drive

Waterbury VT 05671

802-241-5520