Kathleen Smith

Vt. Man Charged in Death of Social Worker Dies From Heart Attack

State officials are confirming the death of a man who was deemed mentally unfit to stand trial for killing a social worker in 2010.

The Chittenden County State's Attorney Office says it was alerted Friday that Jose Pazos died from complications from a heart attack. He had checked into the University of Vermont Medical Center Tuesday.

Pazos had pleaded not guilty to premeditated murder in the stabbing death of 50-year-old Kathleen Smith. After Smith died, Pazos received inpatient treatment at the Vermont Psychiatric Care Hospital.

Smith's family said they were relieved to hear of his death, but frustrated with Vermont's criminal justice system.

Pazos was first found incompetent to stand trial in 2014.

A judge in 2017 wrote he wasn't certain Pazos could consult with attorneys "with a reasonable degree of rational understanding."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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