Baird Wants Murder Charge Dropped

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ohaganST. JOHNSBURY - One of three men accused of murdering Mary "Pat" O'Hagan will be appearing in Caledonia County Criminal Court Friday morning. The court will be asked to dismiss the murder charge against Keith Baird. Baird's lawyer will be arguing there is not enough evidence to charge him with murder.

In September 2010, Mary "Pat" O'Hagan went missing from her Sheffield home. The Vermont State Police and the Sheffield-Wheelock Fire Department began searching for the 78-year-old grandmother.

"I ran part of the command post here," said Sheffield-Wheelock Fire Chief Marc Brown. "We did have members from not only our department but from surrounding departments to help in the search,"

The search teams led by the command post combed Sheffield and Wheelock seaching for O'Hagan.

"It is the same thing whether the missing person is a person who just wanders away or something has happened to them," said Chief Brown. "But it does change how you are feeling inside when you know the person and possibly something bad has happened to them."

According to court documents, Keith Baird, Michael Norrie, and Richard Fletcher burglarized O'Hagan's home looking for money to buy crystal meth.

After three weeks of searching Sheffield and Wheelock, officials found Mary "Pat" O'Hagan brutally murdered off the side of Horn Road in Wheelock.

"I still can't believe it," said Audrey Richardson, O'Hagan's friend. "We still go by her house everyday. I still check to see whose car is in the driveway of her house even though it has been sold."

In 2014, Baird, Norrie and Fletcher were arraigned in Caledonia County Criminal Court on charges of murder, burglary, and kidnapping.

Richard Fletcher took a plea deal in March 2015. In the deal he would testify against the other suspects in the case, Norrie and Baird. He is currently serving a 15-year sentence for his role in the murder.

In December 2015, Michael Norrie also took a plea deal. In a written letter of apology to the family Norrie wrote, "I cannot begin to express how sorry I am for my actions. I have taken away another person's life. There is nothing I can do to bring her back, and I will live with this guilt and regret for the rest of my life."

He also wrote, "I will focus on addressing my mental health and substance abuse problems with the hope that I will never cause another person pain again."

Norrie was sentenced to 23-years in jail for his role in killing the 78-year-old Sheffield woman.

"I know the O'Hagan family and the community at large here,"said Caledonia County District Attorney Lisa Warren. "It's been a long time getting through the judicial system. They want some justice for Mary "Pat" O'Hagan and her family and to make the community feel safe again."

"We are gradually getting back," said Richardson. "It's been five and a half years. That's not easy."

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