Former Champlain College Student Pleads Guilty in 2015 Drug Killing | Off Message

Former Champlain College Student Pleads Guilty in 2015 Drug Killing


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A former Champlain College student pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges that he killed a Burlington man in 2015 over a cocaine debt, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Richard Monroe, 25, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Rutland to a firearms charge for fatally shooting Kevin DeOliveira, 23, and to conspiracy to distribute cocaine. Monroe's plea agreement calls for a 25-year prison sentence, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Federal authorities said that in late 2014, Monroe and DeOliveira argued about several ounces of cocaine that had been damaged. DeOliveira, a New Jersey native, claimed that Monroe owed him several thousand dollars. Monroe disagreed.

On the morning of January 2, 2015, Monroe approached DeOliveira's Greene Street apartment. When DeOliveira opened the door, Monroe shot him once though the eye with a .22 pistol, authorities said.

The case remained unsolved for years. Finally, Monroe was arrested in June in western Texas.

U.S. Attorney Christina Nolan said investigators were "dogged" in their pursuit of the perpetrator.

"This kind of senseless violence in connection with the drug trade is abhorrent, and we will continue to come together to put a stop to it," Nolan said in a prepared statement.