MONTPELIER, Vt., Aug. 2 (UPI) — Vermont officials said there is little they can do in the case of a man who recently confessed to a homicide he was acquitted of in 2004.
Isaac Turnbaugh of Randolph, Vt., was found not guilty of first-degree murder in the fatal 2002 shooting of pizza restaurant co-worker Declan Lyons, 24, of Montpelier, the Burlington (Vt.) Free Press reported Tuesday.
Turnbaugh, now 28, called Randolph police last month and said he shot Lyons in the head with a rifle and wanted to surrender.
Attorney General William Sorrell said the state has few options because of the legal double jeopardy doctrine that says a defendant can’t be tried twice for the same crime.
“You only get one bite of the apple,” Sorrell said. “You can go out on the courthouse steps and confess, and the state can’t do anything.”
Sorrell said the statute of limitations for non-murder charges in the case has expired, and the evidence would have to be something not used in the original trial.