3 charged in shooting of man found dead on roadside in 2018

CONCORD, Vt. (AP) — Three people are facing charges in the fatal shooting of a man found dead on a rural road in Concord, Vermont, two years ago.

The girlfriend of victim Michael Pimental, Krystal Whitcomb, 28, of Waterford, John Welch, 34, of Woodsville, New Hampshire, and Michael “Moe” Hayes, 38, of Washington, D.C., were indicted by a federal grand jury Tuesday on charges of carrying and discharging a firearm during a drug trafficking crime with death resulting.

Pimental’s body was found on Oct. 14, 2018. An investigation determined that he and Whitcomb had been dealing heroin out of their home in Waterford, prosecutors said.

Hayes and Welch, who were acquaintances of Whitcomb, were also involved in selling drugs, according to the U.S. attorney’s office for Vermont.

Whitcomb, Hayes and Welch planned the homicide of Pimental, and Welch shot Pimental on Oct. 13, 2018, in connection with a drug trafficking crime, prosecutors said.

Whitcomb and Hayes were later stopped in New Hampshire in a vehicle registered to Pimental. A search found firearms, a large amount of drugs and money and Pimental’s blood in the trunk, prosecutors said.

In 2019, law enforcement found Welch by the side of a road in Bath, New Hampshire, trying to dig into the ground with a shovel. Law enforcement returned later in the year and found a backpack containing a firearm believed to be used in the shooting, prosecutors said.

The U.S. attorney’s office said it will not seek the death penalty against Whitcomb, Hayes and Welch and they face up to life in prison if convicted.

Phone messages were left for attorneys representing Whitcomb and Hayes. Welch’s attorney, Robert Behrens, said Wednesday that he had no comment at this time.

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