A 16-year-old boy accused of shooting his father to death told police he had planned it in advance, but the motive remained murky Monday as a judge ordered him held on $500,000 bail.
Aaron Congdon apparently killed his father in the midst of a telephone conversation with a friend, returning to the phone to say "I did it" after he shot his father — town Selectman Bernard Congdon Jr. — in the face with a rifle as the two stood in their kitchen, according to an affidavit filed in Vermont District Court.
State's Attorney James Mongeon would not comment on the substance of the conversation, nor would Congdon's lawyer, public defender Joyce Brenner. Neither would comment about what may have led to the killing.
"It's a crying shame what happened," said David Rider, 45, whose stepson is friends with Congdon.
The friend involved in the telephone conversation, 17-year-old Edward Walker, told police he was talking to Congdon on Thursday night "about Aaron killing his father" when he heard what he thought was the sound of a weapon being loaded, followed by "two large bangs" and the sound of glass breaking, according to the affidavit by Vermont State Police Detective Sgt. Daniel Elliott.
Sounds over the phone, then: ‘I did it’
"Congdon returned to the phone and told Walker 'I did it,' and described shooting his father in the face" and shooting one of his two dogs, according to the affidavit. Two dogs were found dead at the scene, both shot by a .357 revolver.
A trail of blood from the living room to the basement led investigators to the second dog, the affidavit said.
Congdon, who lived alone with his father, is charged as an adult with first-degree murder.
In court Monday, he hung his head and said nothing during a brief arraignment at which his public defender entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.
Handcuffed and shackled at the hands and feet, he was ordered held on $500,000 bail.
Bernard Congdon, 53, was found dead Saturday after friend Jaclyn Thompson Page went to his house and saw a dead dog and what looked like blood as she looked through a window after he didn't answer, according to Sgt. John Flannigan of the State Police.
His vehicle, a Ford Explorer, was missing from the house, as was the son.
Asks who did it, but not how he died
The boy was located late Saturday at a friend's house in Rutland but initially denied knowing anything about his father's death, asking who killed him but not how he died, according to the affidavit.
But he later confessed to the shooting, telling police he searched his father's pockets for a car key as Bernard Congdon lay dead on the floor and — when he couldn't find one — took his wallet, the affidavit said.
He told police the shooting occurred Thursday.
Investigators recovered a 30-30 rifle and .357 revolver believed to have been used in the shootings and discarded on the property of a Mendon man with no apparent connection to the case, Flannigan said.
Walker is being treated as a witness and won't be charged, Mongeon said.