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Police, eyewitnesses speak at Rutland murder trial

RUTLAND - At Jonathan Bruno's murder-in-the-second-degree trial in Rutland this week, the jury heard from former Castleton Policeman Aaron McNeil. Joining McNeil on the stand were Rutland City law enforcement officers.

McNeil told judge and jurors about threats Bruno allegedly made to victim John Baptie. The trial's prosecuting attorney alleges that Bruno murdered Baptie in a parking lot in downtown Rutland Nov. 1, 2007.

One witness in court Tuesday, Christopher Heck alleged that Bruno, a friend of his at the time of Baptie's death, told him he wanted to kill Baptie.

The conversation Heck claimed he had with Bruno, which apparently took place on the telephone, occurred about a week prior to the victim's violent death outside downtown Rutland's Wal-Mart store. The parking lot site where Baptie was killed is near the Wal-Mart garden center.

Other eyewitnesses in court claimed they saw the fatal blow that severed Baptie's artery.

The trial is likely to continue into next week.

(Beth Schaeffer contributed to this report.)

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