Four to Be Charged With Murder in Burlington Shooting | Off Message

Four to Be Charged With Murder in Burlington Shooting

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Police interview witnesses on North Willard Street. - BURLINGTON POLICE
  • Burlington police
  • Police interview witnesses on North Willard Street.
Four people will be charged with murder in the fatal shooting of Benzel Hampton in Burlington's Old North End on Tuesday, Burlington police announced Thursday.

Lesine Woodson, 32; James Felix, 36; Brandon Sanders, 18; and Johnny Ford, 32, are all in custody, according to Burlington Police Chief Brandon del Pozo.

Cops say Felix, Sanders and Ford attacked Hampton just before 3 p.m. Tuesday at 235 North Willard Street, where Hampton was completing a drug deal. Hampton and his attackers exchanged gunfire, and Hampton was fatally shot in the head, authorities said. The attackers fled in a vehicle driven by Woodson.



From left: Lesine Woodson, Johnny Ford, James Felix and Brandon Sanders - BURLINGTON POLICE DEPARTMENT
  • Burlington Police Department
  • From left: Lesine Woodson, Johnny Ford, James Felix and Brandon Sanders
Felix sustained numerous gunshot wounds and was being treated at the University of Vermont Medical Center. Woodson was arrested shortly after the shooting, on Colchester Avenue.

Sanders fled to Connecticut with Ford, police said. A Connecticut SWAT team apprehended Ford at a Motel 6 in Enfield, where police recovered $16,000 in cash and more than 100 grams of crack cocaine. Hampton had a "quantity" of crack cocaine when he was killed, police said.

Police learned Ford had gone to the MGM Springfield Casino in Springfield, Mass., and played poker after the murder. He has previous arrests in Florida for robbery, aggravated battery, carrying a concealed weapon and various drug charges. Sanders also has a record for robbery and larceny, police said.

Del Pozo said the altercation sprayed bullets around a residential neighborhood just as school was letting out, and that it was fortunate no bystanders were shot.

Hampton, the victim, is also from Florida. In January, he led troopers on a 30-mile pursuit at speeds over 100 mph. He was eventually apprehended by an off-duty sheriff’s deputy in Essex.

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