Attorney: Man shot by police on I-89 working on plea deal

  • Bryan Evans

  • A screen grab of a bystander’s video shows the police shooting involving a suspect identified as Bryan Evans on May 19, 2017, on Interstate 89 in Hopkinton. Courtesy

Monitor staff
Thursday, September 21, 2017

A Vermont man shot by police in May and charged with drug possession and car theft is working on a tentative plea deal with prosecutors, according to his attorney.

Bryan Evans, 31, of Quechee, Vt., is facing charges out of Merrimack County Superior Court of possessing or having under his control a quantity of cocaine and fentanyl and possessing his mother’s 2017 Toyota Camry knowing it had been stolen.

The charges stem from a May 19 incident in which state police engaged in a tense standoff with Evans on Interstate 89 in Hopkinton that shut down the areas around Exit 6 southbound for several hours and ended with Evans being shot. Evans has also been charged in Vermont with burglary, grand larceny, unlawful mischief, petty larceny and operating a vehicle without the owner’s consent.

Previously, Evans had pleaded not guilty to all of his charges in New Hampshire and Vermont.

Despite Merrimack County Superior Court documents that show Evans had reached a “fully negotiated” plea deal, Evans’s lawyer Timothy Goulden said details of the plea are far from hammered out.

“If everything goes well and the state and Mr. Evans agree, a plea deal may be reached,” Goulden said. He declined to comment on which charges Evans may plead to when he next appears in court, Nov. 15 at 8:30 a.m.

Evans was driving a 2017 Toyota Camry, which belonged to his mother, about 6:47 p.m. May 19 on I-89, “knowing that it had been stolen,” according to court documents, and refused to pull over when New Hampshire State Police located the car in the Sutton area.

When Evans did pull over in Hopkinton between Exits 6 and 7, he refused to obey commands to show his hands and told State Police Trooper Daniel Livingstone, a K-9 officer, “if you release the dog you’re a dead man,” or words to that effect, according to a report on the incident from the attorney general’s office.

“Instead, Evans quickly pulled his hand out of his jacket and pointed his hands in a two-handed, gun style fashion at the officers,” the report stated. “These actions on the part of Evans led officers to reasonably believe that he had a gun pointed at them, and therefore prompted three officers to fire or attempt to fire their weapons at him.”

New London police Officer James MacKenna, State Police Troopers Michael Arteaga and Livingstone fired at Evans, according to reports. MacKenna fired one shot from a rifle and missed; Livingstone attempted to shoot at Evans, but his handgun “malfunctioned and did not fire”; and Arteaga fired two shots from his handgun and hit Evans in the left leg, according to the AG’s report. Police were found to be justified in their actions. Evans was found to be unarmed.

Evans was transported to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon and was discharged in June, according to court documents. He was released on $40,000 personal recognizance bail but was required to turn himself in to Vermont authorities upon his release.

Upon turning himself in, Evans was arraigned in Windsor (Vt.) Superior Court in late June, where he was released on conditions that he reside at his mother’s home in Quechee. Evans, who was confined to a wheelchair during that arraignment, was not deemed a flight risk due to his family ties to the area, injuries and ongoing medical needs. His current medical condition is unknown.

Merrimack County assistant attorney Carley Ahern did not return an email requesting information by press time.

(Caitlin Andrews can be reached at 369-3309, candrews@cmonitor.com or on Twitter at @ActualCAndrews.)