Holyoke man sentenced to 40 years in drug death

Frank Caraballo of Holyoke, Massachusetts sentenced to 40 years in prison

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) – A man has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for causing the death of a Vermont woman whom he believed had stolen drugs from him.

The Rutland Herald reports before he was sentenced Tuesday, Frank Caraballo of Holyoke, Massachusetts, said he was guilty of dealing drugs in Brattleboro in 2011. But he said he didn’t kill 30-year-old Melissa Barratt.

A jury convicted him of causing Barratt’s death; it acquitted him of firing the weapon that killed her.

Caraballo said the jury included people who had relatives working in law enforcement, who tended to believe police or who said they knew no one addicted to drugs.

Judge Christina Reiss said Caraballo made it clear he would kill whoever had taken his drugs, and had time to weigh his options.

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