UPDATE- The Caledonia County court sentenced Michael Norrie to 23 years in prison on Thursday. Norrie took a plea deal back in July after being charged with Burgalary, Kidnapping, and First Degree Murder of Mary Pat O'Hagan. According to court documents, Norrie admitted to pulling the trigger on O'Hagan, and is the second to be sentenced among the three charged in the killing. He has also waived his right to appeal his sentence and is being charged a fine of $423. Included in the court documents was a written letter of apology by Norrie to the O'Hagan family.
"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" Norrie's letter read. "I will focus on addressing my mental health and substance abuse problems with the hope that I will never cause another person pain again."
WHEELOCK - Saturday marks five years since hunters discovered the body of Mary Pat O'Hagan on Horn Road in Sheffield. O'Hagan was a 78-year-old former N. Chelmsford, Massachusetts resident who moved to Sheffield in 1995.
She brought with her a level of involvement in the community as a member of the Sheffield Historical Society and the Sheffield Food Pantry, among others. For some, like Patrick Ham, a friend of O'Hagan, her death is still surreal.
"I was sitting with her two or three days before she disappeared," Ham said. "It was very traumatic that someone I knew was kidnapped and murdered. "
It was on October 13, 2010, about four weeks before she was murdered on September 10, that her body was found. Years later, in 2013, St. Johnsbury resident Michael Norrie, now 24, made incriminating statements regarding the investigation into O'Hagan's death while being questioned on unrelated charges. Norrie pled guilty to being a drug user in possession of a firearm and being in possession of a stolen gun, and was sentenced to nearly 5 years in prison.
Court documents say that his remarks about the O'Hagan case, however, lead investigators to question him about O'Hagan's death, and later lead to charges against himself, and his cousins, Richard Fletcher and Keith Baird.
The three were officially charged with 1st degree murder, kidnapping, and burglary in 2014. Court documents state that Norrie, Fletcher, and Baird were high on crystal meth and broke into O'Hagan's home searching for pills and money for drugs, when Norrie "freaked out" and shot O'Hagan in the back of the head.
Fletcher, who is serving a 15-year sentence in a Kentucky prison for sexual exploitation of a minor when he was charged, took a plea deal this past March. Fletcher pled guilty to the kidnapping and burglary charges and the murder charges against him were dropped in exchange for his testimony against Baird and Norrie.
Norrie, who took a plea deal to all three charges this past July, admitted to shooting and killing O'Hagan, and is expected to serve a sentence of 27-50 years.
As for Keith Baird, his plea of not guilty has not been withdrawn, and so far no trial date has been set.
For the town of Sheffield though, even 5 years later, the memory of O'Hagan still lives on. A playground at the Miller's Run middle school was dedicated to her, and a fiddle contest that she used to judge has been renamed the Mary Pat O'Hagan Memorial Fiddle Contest in her honor.
"When I saw there was a sheriff's deputy came through in my mind automatically flipped back to the other field day," Ham said. "It's still there. It's still under the surface but I think as a community it's healing."