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Couple Pleads Not Guilty to Murdering Teacher
On Monday, the body of a 33-year-old science teacher from St. Johnsbury Academy was found in the Connecticut River. The woman is Melissa Jenkins and she was very popular amongst her students. Jenkins was lured from her home by Allen and Patricia Prue when they told her their vehicle was broken down. The two-year-old son of Jenkins was found in her idling SUV on Sunday.
According to police documents, the couple was driving around on Sunday when Allen Prue came up with the idea to ‘get a girl.’ The police have not released many details about the crime, which has residents of Vermont left wondering about what happened and what the motive of the couple was that day. One of Prue’s neighbors, Jessica Fontecha, said “It’s easy to say `these horrible people,’ but they weren’t horrible people.” Fontecha did say “we didn’t see much of him” when he married Patricia last year.
On Wednesday, the couple pled not guilty to the charges of second degree murder and unauthorized burial or removal of a dead body. The two are being held without bail as more charges could be possible in the case, according to police.
The lawyer for Allen Prue, Dan Maguire, said that the case is a tragedy.
“As with all Vermonters, my heart goes out to Ms. Jenkins’ family and friends,” Maguire said. “We all cherish the peaceful and tranquil life, which we have here in Vermont and are shocked when that peace is broken.”
Allen Prue used to plow the driveway of Jenkins but she became uncomfortable around him after he asked her out a couple of times. She asked Allen to stop plowing her driveway but one day he showed up at her home drunk in 2011 to ask if he could continue to plow the driveway in the coming winter months. After Jenkins was lured from her home Allen strangled her, according to police.
The young son of Jenkins, Ty Robertson, allegedly saw a portion of the attack. An investigator asked Robertson what happened and he placed a hand on the back of his neck and pulled. He then said that the same thing happened to ‘mommy.’ Allen Prue placed Jenkins’ body on a tarp, took off her clothes and then poured bleach on her body. The couple also removed their clothes and placed them on the tarp. The couple then used a boat ramp at the Connecticut River to dump her body. They weighted the body down with cinder blocks and covered it with brush, according to documents from the court.