St. Johnsbury Man Pleads Not Guilty to Firing Shots into Camper

A 50-year-old St. Johnsbury man pleaded not guilty Tuesday after firing shots at a camper in Brattleboro and telling police he was “going to blow the town up.”

Police say John E. Merrick threatened two victims with guns before firing shots at the canopy of their camper from a close proximity. According to the Brattleboro Reformer, Merrick then told an officer he was “going to blow the town up” and that he was “fortifying (his) position” and “loading up all (his) guns.”

Despite the threats, Merrick – who had access to a black powder pistol and multiple rifles – was taken into custody without incident. He now faces felony charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, reckless endangerment and firearm possession after condition of a violent crime, with each charge carrying a sentence of up to five years in prison.

Merrick, who has multiple prior convictions including grand larceny and simple assault, is currently being held without bail.

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