Brian Rooney, 36, was charged with aggravated murder in the Oct. 7 death of Michelle Gardner-Quinn, a University of Vermont senior who turned up dead six days after disappearing while walking back to campus after a night out with friends.
However, the voice of slain UVM student, Michelle Gardner-Quinn has not been silenced. Her essay, “This I believe,” will be featured this weekend. Special people are never silenced and hold a legacy for others to learn from. READ OR LISTEN to the essay HERE.
An essay written by Michelle Gardner-Quinn will be featured Sunday morning as part of “This I Believe” during Weekend Edition on Vermont Public Radio. It will be read by one of her professors, Cecilia Danks. Danks is the Assistant Professor of Environmental Policy at the University of Vermont. Weekend Edition airs 8 a.m. – 10 a.m. Sunday on VPR.
This I Believe is a national media project that invites people from all walks of life to write and speak aloud brief essays describing the core values that guide their lives. Each week, uniquely human voices of American citizens explore our hopes and ideals. The series has resonated with listeners, appreciative of civil discourse that’s honest and respectful, authentic and intimate.
VPR can be heard at 107.9 FM in Burlington, 89.5 FM in Windsor, 88.7 FM in Rutland, 88.5 FM in St. Johnsbury, 94.3 FM in Bennington, 92.5 in Manchester, 94.5 in Brattleboro, 95.3 in Middlebury, 94.1 in Montpelier and online at vpr.net. VPR is also available in HD at 107.9-HD1 in northern Vermont, 89.5-HD1 in the Upper Valley and at 94.3-HD1 in Bennington. (Times Argus)
How often do we hear about a murder or rape suspect being held on an unrelated charge when being investigated for another crime? In Brian Rooney’s case he is being tried for an unrelated sex crime. Brian Rooney was charged in the murder of UVM student Michelle Gardner Quinn. However, first he must face sexual assault charges against a former girl friend.
Still, the sex-assault case won’t be ready for trial until late 2007, Gretkowski told Judge Michael Kupersmith during a 20-minute hearing in Vermont District Court in Burlington.
Rooney, 36, of Richmond pleaded not guilty Oct. 19 to one count of repeatedly sexually assaulting a former girlfriend between 2002 and 2005, and another count of inciting a felony on an accusation he tried to hire someone to kill the woman after their relationship ended.
A gag order Kupersmith issued in the Gardner-Quinn case bars participants from making public comments about the proceedings outside the courtroom. (Burlington Free Press)
David Sleigh, Defense attorney for Brian Rooney who is accused of sexually assaulting and murdering Michelle Gardner-Quinn is requesting DNA samples.
BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) – The attorney for Brian Rooney, the man accused of sexually assaulting and then killing a University of Vermont senior, wants extra samples of DNA evidence preserved for independent testing.
Defense attorney David Sleigh is asking a judge to order the Vermont Forensic Lab to save at least three copies of all DNA samples and to ask for special permission to run tests if a sample is too small to be divided.
Attorney Sleigh is arguing that the defense is entitled to DNA samples to independently test the evidence that the state has. The defense can play all the legal games they want, Brian Rooney and the DNA evidence that the prosecution has will prove his guilt. Sure Rooney is entitled to a defense, that does not mean that he is not guilty. The evidence will show that to be a fact.
Deputy State’s Attorney Justin Jiron filed papers objecting to the request to divide samples into thirds. Standard lab protocol calls for dividing the samples in half.
“The defense motion does not indicate a reason for departing from the protocol,” Jiron wrote. “A requirement that all evidence be divided into three or more parts is unduly burdensome.” (Rutland Herald)
All to often college age students think they are invincible and bullet proof. Then tragically they are reminded that they are not as in the case of murdered UVM student Michelle Gardner-Quinn. Burlington, VT police are stressing the “Buddy Up for Safety” program. We would stress to always use judgment. One never needs to walk around in constant fear, one needs to just use judgment. That includes the friends around college age kids as well. You all know when one of your friends, whether drunk or impaired, is doing something that contains a high risk. Step in and be vocal. Help your friends that may not be able to make a proper choice for themselves, it may be the only chance you have to save them. Don’t let friends go off alone or with strangers … please “buddy up”.
The new awareness program called “Buddy Up for Safety” advises people to walk with others, carry a charged cell phone containing emergency contact numbers and park in well-lighted spots.
“If grabbed, don’t freeze or panic. Draw attention to yourself by yelling worlds like ‘Call 911,’ ‘Help’ and ‘No,’ loudly and repeatedly,” he said.
Tremblay said he will encourage UVM to add more emergency phone call stations on Main Street “to send a message that this is a safe area.” (WCAX)
Brian Rooney was the last person seen with Michelle Gardner-Quinn alive as surveillance videos captured. Brian Rooney has a past of sexually allegations against him. Prosecutors have stated that they have strong DNA evidence linking Brian Rooney to Michelle Gardner-Quinn. So what did Brian Rooney plead in Court with regards to the strangling and murder of Michelle Gardner-Quinn … not guilty of course.
Rooney, 36, is charged with aggravated murder in the Oct. 7 death of Michelle Gardner-Quinn, a University of Vermont senior who turned up dead six days after disappearing while walking back to campus after a night out with friends.
“We’d like to remind people that Brian is presumed innocent, and he’s in fact innocent,” said attorney David Sleigh. “We intend to test the strength of the state’s case in a court of law.” (Times Argus)
Let’s just cut to the chase and stop the drama. Yes, people are innocent until proven guilty … let’s make a prediction here … GUILTY. Why do all these excuses sound so familiar from case to case?
Rooney, who told police he was intoxicated the night he met Gardner-Quinn, said when he was arrested on unrelated sex charges that he didn’t remember what happened that night and must have blacked out, according to the affidavit released Wednesday.
“I honestly don’t know what I did that night. If I did it I deserve to die,” he said, according to the affidavit. (Times Argus)
Unfortunately, VT does not have the death penalty. Rooney only faces life without parole if convicted.
Brian Rooney, the last known person to be seen with Michelle Gardner-Quinn has been charged with murder. Brian Rooney was officially charged with aggravated homicide, which generally indicates murder during sexual assault or attempted sexual assault.
BURLINGTON, Vt. – A man seen on surveillance video walking with a college student who was found beaten and strangled a week later was charged Wednesday with murder.
Police said DNA found on Michelle Gardner-Quinn’s body matched DNA from Brian L. Rooney, 36.
Rooney had been identified as a primary suspect in the 21-year-old Arlington, Va., woman’s death. He was the last person seen with her before she disappeared around 2 a.m. on Oct. 7 after leaving a bar in Burlington to walk back to the University of Vermont campus. A store surveillance video showed the two walking together.
read the rest here…
A memorial service for Michelle Gardner-Quinn will take place in her home town in Virginia. It is takes place next Saturday, October 28th. Also, Michelle’s family has set up an environmental scholarship in her name. God bless and rest in peace.
Virginia Memorial Service for Michelle Gardner-Quinn:
Saturday, October 28
H.B. Woodlawn School
Donate to the Environmental Scholarship in Memory of Michelle Gardner-Quinn:
Michelle Gardner-Quinn Foundation
Church of the Covenant
2666 Military Road
Arlington, VA 22207
Virginia Service, Local Events to Remember Gardner-Quinn
A memorial service for Michelle Gardner-Quinn will be held on Saturday, Oct. 28 at 3 p.m. in Arlington, Va. at H-B Woodlawn, the high school from which Gardner-Quinn graduated. Her family welcomes members of the UVM community to attend.
There has been a big break in the murder investigation of Michelle Gardner-Quinn. We have a match. A DNA sample taken from the pants of the prime suspect, Brian Rooney, in the disappearance and murder of Michelle Gardner-Quinn has been found to be hers.
The blood was found on the blue jeans of Brian L. Rooney, 36, giving police at least one piece of physical evidence allegedly linking the man they call their prime suspect to the Oct. 7 disappearance of Gardner-Quinn.
Rooney, who has denied any involvement in the woman’s disappearance but is being held on unrelated sex charges, was ordered by Vermont District Court Judge Michael Kupersmith to submit to DNA testing during a closed-door hearing Thursday, according to David Sleigh, his court-appointed lawyer.
It appears that the court appointed attorney for Brian Rooney let the cat out of the bag even though the court hearing was supposed to be closed. This could be the beginning of the end for Brian Rooney and the piece needed to prove who was responsible for the murder of Michelle Gardner-Quinn.
That was revealed by David Sleigh, a court appointed lawyer for Mr. Rooney in an interview with the Associated Press. He said the DNA evidence was revealed at a hearing, a hearing that Sleigh thought was open, when it was actually closed. (WCAX)
DNA match even though mums the word because of a sealed affidavit.
In an affidavit, prosecutors said a Vermont State Police analysis showed the DNA samples to match, according to Sleigh.
Deputy Chittenden County State’s Attorney Justin Jiron would not confirm or deny the DNA match when asked Thursday, saying the affidavit was under seal. “I’m not allowed to talk about the results,” Jiron said.
Neither Police Chief Thomas Tremblay nor Lt. Kathleen Stubbing would confirm it, either.
District Court refused to release the affidavit, saying it was under seal.
A search of the suspects home on Monday revealed the following.
In a Monday search of Rooney’s parents’ home in Richmond, police found photographs and videotapes of naked women, one of which was labeled with the girlfriend’s name and showed a woman lying face down on a bed, making no movements as she was sexually assaulted.
The latest charges could put Rooney away for life. (Burlington Free Press)
From the material found during searches and the past allegations against Brian Rooney, one wonders what the police in Vermont were thinking by having this predator walk the streets. Its okay to press charges against Brian Rooney now, but not in the past?
For the second time in less than a week Brian Rooney found himself back in court facing charges unrelated to the Michelle Gardner-Quinn murder. However, Brian Rooney remains the primary suspect in Michelle’s murder. The charges faced by Rooney were also a result of the investigation into Michelle Gardner-Quinn’s disappearance.
For the second time in less than a week, Rooney entered not guilty pleas to sex charges brought as a result of the probe into Gardner-Quinn’s disappearance.
The new charges are aggravated sexual assault and inciting a felony.
Authorities accuse Rooney of repeatedly sexually assaulting a former girlfriend and soliciting someone to have her killed.
He was ordered held without bail. (WAVY 10)
Earlier this week Brian Rooney was facing charges that he sexually abused and raped a 14 year old girl 8 years earlier.
“The defendant jumped on her while she was in bed, forced a rag over face with an ether-type smell, when she woke up he was there with her. She had a feeling in her legs like they were jello,” says Matt Levine, Vt. Assistant Attorney General.
Rooney pled not guilty to charges of lewd and lascivious conduct and sexual assault. His lawyer told the judge the sex charges should be dismissed. He claims they are a police tactic that permits them to hold Rooney while they look for the evidence to charge him with the murder of the UVM student. (WCAX)
Brian Rooney is being held on cash bail set at 150-thousand dollars on the sex crime charges. However, it does not appear that Rooney will be getting out any time soon. Vermont’s largest bail bond company, ZIGNA/Freedom Bail Bonds, rejected Rooney’s bail as they did not want to do business with the suspect. Can’t say we blame them.
Vermont’s largest bail bond company says Brian Rooney and his family have the assets to finance a bail loan, but the company just doesn’t want Rooney’s business.
Sprano says Rooney’s family has enough money and own enough property to secure the bail loan, but Sprano decided his company will not help Rooney get out of jail.
“After further reviewing the case we have decided to decline to write the bond,” Sprano explained.
“Due to the heinousness of the crimes, we’ve just decided against it,” he added. (WCAX)
The Vermont Medical Examiners have completed the exams on Michelle Gardner-Quinn and have ruled her death a homicide.
“The Vermont Medical Examiners office has completed Michelle’s exam. We have some preliminary results. The manner of death has been classified as a homicide, with the cause of death listed as pending. The cause of death will be listed as soon as test results from the medical exam and additional information from the investigation becomes available,” continued Stubbing.
Police are still focusing on their primary suspect, Brian Rooney. Rooney has denied any involvement in Michelle Gardner-Quinns death.
(Boston Globe: Brian Rooney)
Brian Rooney, 36, told police he had nothing to do with Gardner-Quinn’s disappearance and death.
In an affidavit released before his court appearance on Monday, Rooney admitted he was the man seen in security camera video walking on Main Street with Gardner-Quinn on the night she disappeared. But Rooney said he and Gardner-Quinn went in separate directions shortly after that point and never saw each other again. (The Boston Globe)
(Click on picture to enlarge, Washington Post)
While in court today on an alleged unrelated sex crime, Rooney pleaded not guilty.
Rooney pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual assault on a child for allegedly molesting a girl under 14 year old back in the late 1990s.
Rooney was ordered held on $150,000 bail.
The police are also trying to locate several of Michelle’s belongings. They are asking for people’s help in that if anyone has seen or located any of the following items.
Police are still looking for several items of Michelle’s, including a silver earring she was wearing. It is described as a sterling silver chandelier type earring. They are also looking for women’s black Converse low-top sneakers, size 8; her Black Puma purse; and her Kyocera Cell phone, which is model KX414. (WCAX)