Criminal Justice

Vermont Murder Suspect Left Local Custody

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July 9, 2013 — Jasper County, Indiana authorities say a man held in custody there since last week left the jail before dawn today.

One week ago today, a Jasper County deputy stopped 49-year-old Peter Lavalette for erratic driving, learning from the man’s own disclosure that he’d killed a man in Vermont before driving to Indiana. He’d been held in the Jasper County jail awaiting an extradition hearing to transfer his custody to Vermont authorities.

The deputy saw Lavalette of Derby, about 10 miles south of the Canadian border in northwest Vermont, in a parking lot of a closed Family Express convenience store in Demotte. He told Deputy Kevin Lewis he needed directions. After Lewis gave directions Lavalette drove off erratically, and Lewis pulled him over. When Lavalette’s personal information did not match that of the registered owner of the car Lavalette told Lewis the reason the information didn’t match was because he killed the car’s owner.

Jasper County contacted Vermont State Police, and officers there found the body of 61-year-old George Kouzoujian inside a home in Westfield. Vermont State Police said he had been shot several times in the head.

Reported by Rick Richards


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