Death in the parking lot at Walmart


Submitted a year ago
Created by
Eric Francis

UPDATED: Dead man was a long-time resident of downtown White River Junction

WEST LEBANON - Lebanon Police are investigating the untimely death of an older man who was discovered deceased in a van in the parking lot of the Walmart store on Plainfield Road late Saturday afternoon.

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    "There was nothing suspicious, no foul play," explained Lebanon Police Sgt. Jeff Perkins who said the discovery of the body began with a call for emergency services to perform a "check the welfare" on the individual and "unfortunately from there it was ultimately determined that he was deceased."

    Witnesses said several police cruisers and an ambulance swarmed into the parking lot shortly before sunset and removed the man from a Dodge cargo van with Vermont plates that was parked in a section of the Walmart lot frequented by recreational vehicles which are staying overnight, something the Walmart chain as a whole is known for allowing campers to do at their stores across the country.

    Those same witnesses said that the van in question may have been in the lot for up to five days; however, Sgt. Perkins said that while he did not know for sure how long the van had been there, it appeared that the man in it had just died some time on Saturday.

    Police are withholding the man's identity until they complete notifications of next of kin.

UPDATE:  On Sunday afternoon the Lebanon Police Department released the identity of the deceased.  He is Bradley Horton, 66, who for a long-time was a resident of South Main Street in White River Junction. 

    Horton had a criminal record that spanned four decades and which included stints in prison in New Hampshire for aggravated sexual assaults.  He had a long-running struggle with alcohol that was described as a factor in numerous incidents on South Main Street including a 2014 encounter with a young teenage African American girl for which he was convicted of disorderly conduct after witnesses said he propositioned her for sex and then, when she refused, began calling her racial slurs and threatened to get a handgun from his apartment and shoot her.  

    While on probation for that incident, in May of 2015, while under court orders and probation conditions that forbid him to consume any alcohol, Horton passed out from extreme intoxication in his apartment while leaving food cooking on his stove before he was narrowly rescued from his smoke-filled building by police who forced their way in during the pre-dawn hours to rescue him even as firefighters were still responding, Hartford Police reported at the time.

    On Sunday, Lebanon Police Sgt. Richard Norris said that, while the investigation into Horton's death is on-going, "it does not appear suspicious," and the department expects that it "will be wrapping up soon," unless anything further comes to light.

Brad Horton in court in 2014 facing charges related to propositioning a teenage girl on the street

Brad Horton in court in 2015 facing a violation of probation charge for having forced the evacuation of his apartment building late at night due to a fire

Vermont News can be contacted at vermontnews802@gmail.com

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