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Bragdon's murderer sentenced

April 07, 2010
STJOHNSBURY, Vt. — Sara Bragdon's murderer Christopher Chase, 29 of Littleton, was taken away after his sentencing hearing on Monday, March 29 to serve 20 years to life.

"It's reflects the sentencing practices around the state for this type of offense," said Essex County State's Attorney Vince Illuzi. Judge Kathleen Manley issued the sentence at the Essex County Court House last week.

Sara's father Alfred Bragdon and brother Alfred Bragdon Jr. testified at the sentencing that they were in favor of the plea agreement and that they still do not understand why Mr. Chase, would destroy his and Ms. Bragdon's life. Ms. Bragdon was 23 and leaves behind a three-year-old daughter, Kaysia, who is currently in the custody of Mr. Bragdon Sr.

"He made the comment, 'I still don't know why this happened and if it ever comes to me I'll share it with you'," said Mr. Illuzzi on Mr. Chase's testimony. According to Mr. Illuzzi the State was on uneven ground trying to tag a motive and premeditation to the incident. This was why a plea agreement to lower the sentence from first degree to second-degree murder went through on Dec. 21, 2009 to which Mr. Chase pled guilty. It was over a year and a half ago that Ms. Bragdon was murdered by Mr. Chase in an act he claimed he had no clear memory of performing. He shot her in the head with a 30/30 rifle owned by Mr. Bragdon Sr. Mr. Chase was the only one that was reported to have been with her at their Fellows Road home in Guildhall on the evening of August 24, 2008 during the incident.

The Fellows Road residence belongs to Mr. Bragdon Sr. and is where Mr. Chase had stayed with Ms. Bragdon rent-free. She was the only one of the two that carried a job, according to Attorney Illuzzi referencing the Bragdons statements to the court.

"They felt he had no remorse," said Mr. Illuzzi of the victim's family.

Mr. Chase's minimum sentence of 20 years began immediately after the hearing and any further incarceration will be decided by a parole board.

"If he doesn't behave his years could quickly go up before the Parole Board considers releasing him, " said Mr. Illuzi.

Mr. Chase already has a blemished track record in prison as he was charged with aggravated assault against an inmate that resulted in serious facial injuries, he noted. The incident was reported on September 24, 2008 while Mr. Chase was awaiting trial for Ms. Bragdon's murder. The charge was dropped, however, as part of the plea agreement for the murder.

Mr. Chase is currently incarcerated in the Northern State Correctional Facility in Newport, Vt. but may be transferred out of state, according to Mr. Illuzzi who mentioned the practice is common with long-term sentences.

Martin Lord Osman
Varney Smith
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