The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil,
but because of those who look on and do nothing.

~~~ Albert Einstein



Thursday, January 19, 2006

Delaying Cashman

The transcript of the Jan 4th hearing regarding the sentencing of Mark Hulett, the man convicted of raping a young girl in Vermont, left me with many questions. Reading the entire transcript numerous times, I couldn't help noticing Judge Edward Cashman's reference to "Ed Town". Thanks to Web-sleuths, it's been pointed out that the spelling of the name should have been "Ed Towne", and with that new information, and a lead onto that case- I found what I needed.
Cashman mentions "Ed Town" and a 7 to ten year sentence everyone had been happy with, and that he wasn't going to go through that again. After reading about the case, I'm even more disturbed that Cashman went ahead with this sentencing for Mark Hulett. If anything, the Towne case should be a poster child for life sentencing.


On the morning of September 10, 1986, the 15-year-old Crickmore left her Richmond home and was on her way to school walking east on the Jericho Road when she vanished. Searches of the area turned up no trace of the girl, or the book bag or flute case she carried.

On November 19, under slate-gray skies and the winter’s first snow flurries, a deer hunter in the Duxbury woods found Paulette Crickmore’s decomposed body. She had been shot three times in the head with a small-caliber weapon.

[...]

Edwin Towne’s rap sheet reads like a bad dream. In September 1972, Towne abducted and raped at gunpoint a thirteen-year-old girl. He considered killing her, then changed his mind and released her near her home in Stowe, Vermont. He was arrested, charged, posted bail, and ran. In 1973 he was charged with simple assault in Rhode Island and ran to Florida. In June 1973, he picked up a couple hitchhiking and sexually assaulted the woman. In Tennessee in May 1974, Towne was charged with carrying a sawed-off shotgun. Because of outstanding charges, Towne avoided Vermont and migrated to New Hampshire. He was arrested there in 1975 for carrying a concealed weapon. He said he felt safe only when he had a pistol with him. In July 1976 while driving to work, Towne abducted and sexually assaulted a woman at gunpoint.

Towne approached the woman three times asking her if she wanted a ride. She declined. On his fourth pass, Towne produced the gun and ordered her into his car. He drove to an isolated location, forced the woman into the woods, and assaulted her. He drove to a second location, dragged the victim into the woods and told her he was going to kill her. Instead, he sexually assaulted her again. Following a two-and-a-half hour ordeal, the woman escaped when Towne stopped his car to get gas.

Sentenced to five to ten years in the New Hampshire State Prison, Towne’s minimum release date was summer 1979. In April, his case was reviewed for transfer to a minimum security facility. The chief of the mental health unit recommended the transfer noting, "He is seen as being of low average intelligence who responds to common basic human needs. The described sexual episode appears to be more the response to one of these basic needs rather than the act of any criminal. It is believed that he is the type of individual who learns by experience and profits by the consequences of his behavior."

Towne was paroled on August 5, 1979 and settled in Manchester, New Hampshire. Ten days later, police there questioned him about the sexual assault of a nine-year-old girl. Towne quit his job and ran.

On February 20, 1980 a young woman picked up Towne hitchhiking on a toll bridge leading to Vermont. He leaned close to her and pressed a knife against her abdomen. "Keep on driving," he said. "I’m just going to make you a little late for work."

Two more stops; two more sexual assaults. Late that afternoon, Towne broke into a vacant camp and left the victim there while he went to get groceries. For six hours she had feared for her life. As soon as he drove away, she fled.

A jury convicted Towne in August 1980 and sentenced him to concurrent terms of ten to fifteen years. According to the sentence, Towne would not be eligible for parole until 1987. The Vermont Supreme Court overturned the conviction, and a subsequent plea agreement resulted in a sentence of from six to eight years imposed in 1983. Towne was recommended for participation in the state’s sex offender treatment program.

[...]

On September 7, 1984 Edwin Towne was back on the street.

He had shown improvement in treatment, officials said. He had opened up, admitted a lot. So they recommended his release. Towne continued in outpatient "relapse-prevention therapy" until November 13, two months after he had kidnapped and murdered Paulette Crickmore.

[...]

For this type of crime, the assailant’s weapon choice was unusual. Knives or blunt instruments are more common. Towne had used a handgun in an earlier abduction and sexual assault. Would the assailant simply dispose of the weapon? Towne felt safe only when he had a gun. He would want to know where the murder weapon was. Towne had told the cop that on the day in question he drove a load of concrete blocks from Richmond to Eden Mills where he was building a house. Towne placed himself on the Jericho Road where Paulette Crickmore emerged from a convenience store carrying her book bag and flute case and headed for school.

[...]

Edwin Towne is serving a sentence of seventy years. He was the New Hampshire inmate who allegedly learned from experience and profited from the consequences of his behavior. He was the twice-convicted sex offender who impressed Vermont treatment professionals with his openness and sincerity. Towne apparently learned only one lesson: never leave a living victim. SOURCE

Towne's time in prison had clearly done nothing to deter him from future crimes, but I find it amazing that Cashman picked this case to refer to since Towne had had sex offender treatment. He was even doing so well, that they released him early. And the result? A child was brutally murdered. Clearly, not all sex offenders reach this point of deviant behavior, but using this case to justify 60 days of incarceration for such heinous crimes as the ones Hulett committed? It's repulsive to say the least.

As we wait to hear whether Cashman will change the sentence given to Hulett, since the motion to reconsider was filed, we also get to stand by for the Vermont House Judiciary Committee to grow some balls and do something about this offensive action taken by Edward Cashman.
The House Judiciary Committee has decided to take a wait and see attitude on the Judge Cashman sentencing controversy today.
The committee has been handed a resolution that asks Cashman to resign, after he sentenced an admitted sex offender to a minimum of 60 days. Thursday, the chairman of the committee, Hinesburg Democrat Bill Lippert, said he wants to wait and see if Judge Cashman reconsiders the sentence he gave to Mark Hulett. SOURCE

We should all be offended, disgusted and highly disappointed in the way the State of Vermont is handling this situation. Each day that ends with Cashman still sitting on the bench- is an insult and great injustice to the child, to to her family.



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