Pazos Charged with First Degree Murder in Smith Killing (Read the Police Affidavit) | News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Pazos Charged with First Degree Murder in Smith Killing (Read the Police Affidavit)

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  Prosecutors today charged Jose Pazos with first degree murder in the October 18 killing of Burlington resident Kathleen Smith, and said a years-old grudge about a custody fight was his motive. The evidence that led police to suspect Pazos included rope used to tie Smith's hands, DNA found on a knife used in the crime and bootprints in the kitchen of her Park Street home.

Gruesome details of what prosecutors say was a pre-mediated murder pop from the pages of a police affidavit released today following Pazos' arraignment in Chittenden Superior Court. Pazos, a 45-year-old  immigrant from Uruguay who lived in a homeless camp behind a Burlington gas station, pleaded not guilty to charges of murder (which carries a sentence of 35 years to life), kidnapping, burglary and aggravated vehicle operation without owner consent.

Download Pazos_affidavit to read the blow-by-blow of what led police to suspect Pazos [WARNING: This file contains graphic details of the investigation.]. In this video, Donovan and Burlington police spokeswoman Lt. Jennifer Morrison explain the state's case against Pazos.

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Prosecutors allege Pazos (pictured) was motivated by a grudge he held against Smith, who was an acquaintance. Donovan said Pazos was in a custody fight years ago, and Smith took the side of the mother of Pazos' child. Donovan couldn't say what allegedly made Pazos act on the years-old grudge now.

Pazos is being held without bail pending his next hearing.

Photo by Emily McManamy

 

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