- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 2, 2015

ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. (AP) - A judge has rejected a proposed plea deal for a Vermont man charged with second-degree murder in the case of a 13-year-old disabled boy who died after vodka was added to his IV line.

Thirty-eight-year-old Walter Richters, of Hardwick, appeared in a St. Johnsbury court Tuesday to try to get his charge reduced to manslaughter.

Richters and Melissa Robitille have both pleaded not guilty in the Aug. 22, 2014 death of Robitille’s son, Isaac Robitille.

Lawyers from both sides agreed that Richter’s charge could be reduced in exchange for his testimony against the 38-year-old Robitille, who is also facing a second-degree murder charge.

But a judge says the deal, carrying a four to 15 year sentence with 18 months to serve, is not strong enough.


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