Home Improvement Frauds and Windsor Motel microwave fire resolved with plea deal

Submitted 5 months ago
Created by
Eric Francis

Fugitive arrest took place at Quechee Gorge motel a year ago

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION - Criminal cases that stretched out over several years involving home improvement frauds in Norwich and Warren, a smoky fire in a motel room in Weathersfield and a drug raid in Quechee have finally been resolved with a plea deal.

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    Norman Bevins Jr., 44, who in recent years has listed addresses in White River Junction, Brownsville, Quechee and Hartland, reached a resolution of all of his outstanding Vermont cases this week when he pled guilty to three felony counts of home improvement fraud and to a misdemeanor count of unlawful mischief.

    As part of the plea agreement, what had originally been filed against Bevins as a 4th-degree arson charge in the wake of an August 31st, 2015 incident at the Windsor Motel was amended down to the vandalism charge.  Fire investigators said that just minutes after Bevins had been ordered to leave the room he’d been staying in by staff at the motel a microwave in his room that had been stuffed with plastic utensils and a loaf of bread caught fire, ultimately doing $1,200 worth of smoke damage before Ascutney and Windsor firefighters dragged it outside.

Norman Bevins Jr., 44, enters the courtroom Wednesday afternoon to strike a plea deal

    Before this week’s sentencing hearing Bevins Jr. already had an extensive criminal record including seven previous felony convictions for false pretenses and home improvement frauds.

    This week Bevins was given an overall sentence of 2-to-7 years with all but 180 days of that jail time suspended.  

    Bevins also has warrants for his arrest outstanding from three different counties in New Hampshire alleging fraudulent use of a credit card.  Vermont authorities announced late this week that they are now working to extradite Bevins to New Hampshire so he can begin to address those charges.

    Bevins had been close to resolving his Vermont fraud cases once before but in October 2016 efforts fell apart when he skipped his hearings at the courthouse and disappeared until he was located when a search warrant was executed on a motel room near the Quechee Gorge in July 2017.  

    Hartford Police arrested Bevins and his girlfriend in the motel room where Hartford Police Officer Daniel Solomita reported that police could see “numerous needles were located within plain view next to the bed and on the table, also in plain view, were several white wax baggies held together with a small black rubber band,” that Bevins allegedly acknowledged was “dope,” a slang term for heroin.

    Bevins pleaded innocent to a felony count of heroin possession in connection with the raid and the charge was eventually dropped as part of this week’s plea deal.

    Bevin’s defense attorney Mike Shane noted that Bevins has had a rough go in jail since he was ordered held without bail last July in the wake of the Quechee arrest. 

    A fellow inmate has been charged with breaking Bevins’ jaw in the course of an attack that took place inside the facility.

       Shane also noted that Bevin had sent the Attorney General’s Office a check this week for $15,000 intended to begin the process of making restitution payments to the three homeowners in Norwich and Warren from whom Bevins admitted accepting large payments and failing to complete roofing projects.

Bevins in court in July of last year following his arrest in the drug raid at a Quechee Gorge motel

Vermont News can be contacted at vermontnews802@gmail.com


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