A Connecticut man accused of killing two people in Woodbury, Vermont, three years ago pleaded not guilty in Vermont Superior Court in Barre on Wednesday.
Manuel Gomez, 32, is charged with aggravated murder in the deaths of Carol Fredette, 29, and David Thompson, 48, on October 30, 2018. Police say Fradette, 29, was found dead from blunt impact and a gunshot wound at 715 Bliss Road. Thompson, 48, died from multiple gunshot wounds at 637 Bliss Road.
Police say Gomez then burned down both houses to allegedly conceal the homicides.
“The fact that we were able to reach an arraignment today and to have Mr. Gomez return to Vermont to answer these charges, is a testament to the professionalism and commitment of the investigative team to see the case through,” said State’s Attorney Rory Thibault. “Three years should tell the story that this was a long and complex investigation.”
Police say Gomez was selling heroine to Thompson, who might have owed Gomez more than $20,000.
On Wednesday, prosecutors allege that a vehicle belonging to the mother of Gomez’s two children was involved the night of the shooting. Gomez was nonetheless granted permission by the court to have contact with the woman, whom prosecutors say is a “material witness” in the case.
The court set Gomez’s bail at $750,000.