Man shot in Tunbridge faces attempted burglary charge

By FRANCES MIZE

Valley News Staff Writer

Published: 05-30-2024 6:20 AM

TUNBRIDGE — Vermont State Police have cited a man who was shot in the legs in Tunbridge last winter to appear in court in June on a charge of attempted burglary.

The announcement of the charge to be brought against Hugh Shackleton, made last Friday, comes more than five months after the mid-December shooting.

“When you see the extent and thoroughness of the VSP investigation when the case goes public it will be clear why this took so long,” wrote Orange County State’s Attorney Colin Seaman in an email.

Justin Duddie fired a single bullet that tore through both of Hugh Shackleton’s legs at a home on Button Hill Road in Tunbridge in mid-December. Shackleton, a Woodstock resident, kicked off a long recovery with a 10-day stay at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon and a subsequent stint at Mt. Ascutney Hospital & Health Center’s physical rehab unit in Windsor, according to Valley News reporting in February.

First responders found Shackleton, a Woodstock resident, critically injured after a 911 call received just after 6 a.m. on Dec. 20., state police said in a news release at the time.

Duddie was not taken into custody and has not faced charged in connection with the incident.

Shackleton’s attorney, Brian Marsicovetere, of the Hartford-based firm Marsicovetere & Levine, wrote in a Wednesday email that his client will “vigorously” defend the fact that he “did not attempt any sort of burglary,” asserting instead that his client was a victim of romantic envy.

“The alleged victim, a jealous boyfriend of a woman Mr. Shackleton was visiting, intentionally rammed his vehicle into Mr. Shackleton’s truck and took off. All Mr. Shackelton wanted was to determine how the person would take care of the damage,” Marsicovetere wrote. “As it turned out, the alleged victim is actually a violent individual and prone to outbursts ... The incident almost cost Mr. Shackleton his life, and the shooting was an entirely unjustified reaction to the situation.”

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According to Vermont Superior Court records, Duddie’s mother was granted a restraining order against him in 2021.

“Given that there’s ongoing litigation,” Duddie’s attorney Jessica Burke of Burlington-based firm Burke Law, declined to comment Wednesday on the charges set to be brought against Shackelton.

Button Hill Road, which connects to Route 110, is unpaved and largely wooded. Houses are mostly spread far apart. The property on which the shooting took place is owned by Thomas Hoyt, who rents it and was not involved in the incident himself, according to his father, who was reached at the time of the incident.

Shackleton runs a furniture and cabinet making business, and also works for his parents’ company, ShackletonThomas.

Duddie is a 2020 graduate of White River Valley High School. His Facebook profile identifies him as the owner of an auto service business in Randolph.

Shackleton is scheduled to appear in Orange County Superior Court on June 19 at 8:30 a.m.

Frances Mize is a Report for America corps member. She can be reached at fmize@vnews.com or 603-727-3242.