Burlington Free Press cops reporter Mike Donoghue has a scoop in today's paper about the unsolved 2010 murder of Sheffield senior citizen Patricia O'Hagan. Donoghue has been reporting for months about how prosecutors had identified one of the suspects as 22-year-old Michael Norrie in court documents related to a separate case.
Now, in newly filed court papers in yet another case, prosecutors name two other men as suspects in the homicide: 26-year-old Richard E. Fletcher and his brother, 32-year-old Keith Baird. None of the three has been formally charged with O'Hagan's murder.
From the Freeps:
The papers say O’Hagan, 78, was shot in the back of the head inside her home and sexually assaulted during the incident.
The suspects, who are related, provided different reasons for the killing, including robbery and that O’Hagan had learned about methamphetamine being cooked at an abandoned home next door, the U.S. Attorney’s Office stated in the court paperwork.
Donoghue also reports that prosecutors allege Fletcher left a confessional note in his jail cell that read, "I Richard E. Fletcher ... was involved with the robbery that went wrong on the night of Sept. 10, 2010. Me and my brother Keith John Baird ... pland (sic) to rob Miss O’Hagan."
The story relates some unsettling details about the crime and the attempt to cover it up. It also notes a striking coincidence: One of the prison guards who Fletcher allegedly confessed his crime to was among the people who discovered O'Hagan's body while bird hunting in Wheelock, three weeks after her murder.