Man Pleads Guilty After Boy, 13, is Poisoned With Vodka

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A Hardwick man is pleading guilty to a manslaughter charge after prosecutors say vodka he poured into the feeding bag of his girlfriend's severely disabled child killed the boy.

Walter Richters entered the plea Wednesday in a St. Johnsbury courtroom as part of a deal with prosecutors.

Police say the 38-year-old Richters poured vodka into the feeding tube of girlfriend's 13-year-old son in August 2014 after he was "being fussy." Richters said he poured the vodka with the consent of the mother, Melissa Robitille, also 38.

Prosecutors say the boy was blind, had no ears, a cleft palette and developmental delays.

The plea agreement calls for Richters to serve a minimum of three years in prison and testify against Robitille, who is facing a charge of second degree murder.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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