BRISTOL — A Bristol man who was originally charged with attempted murder in a 2011 shooting incident that apparently revolved around a heroin deal gone bad, has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and been sentenced to nearly three years in jail.
Dean C. Heffernan, 28, of Bristol was sentenced late last week in U.S. District Court in Rutland to 33 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.
Vermont State Police arrested Heffernan on Aug. 2, 2011, following an early morning Hinesburg shooting incident. VSP allege Heffernan early that Tuesday morning fired four shots at a car driven on Route 116 by Shawn Holbrook of Hinesburg. According to the affidavit by VSP Sgt. Todd Baxter, the shooting occurred after a drug deal went bad at Heffernan’s Bristol home on Monkton Road.
According to police affidavits Heffernan chased Holbrook up Route 116 and fired a gun at his car.
VSP searched the home of Dean and Kate Heffernan later and said they found 14 bags of heroin, an undisclosed amount of hashish, 31 “assorted narcotic tablets,” and a Beretta 38-caliber handgun they allege Heffernan used to shoot at Holbrook’s car.
Last December, Chittenden County State’s Attorney T.J. Donovan said he was having difficulty prosecuting the attempted murder charge because the alleged victim had disappeared. He dismissed the charges when U.S. authorities filed federal charges against Heffernan.
Heffernan, who initially denied the allegations, entered a deal with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to one count of using a controlled substance while in possession of a gun.