BURLINGTON, Vt. — A federal court jury in Burlington has declared a northern New Hampshire man not guilty for a felony charge of assaulting and injuring a substitute mail carrier as he made his rounds in the Northeast Kingdom a year ago.
Trevor Frizzell, 24, of Stratford, N.H., shook hands with his two defense lawyers and was embraced by his parents after the jury verdict was announced shortly after 4 p.m. Friday afternoon.
He had maintained he was acting in self-defense. Frizzell said fill-in postal worker Paul G. Burch, 66, had attacked him while he was next to a cluster of mailboxes at Maidstone Lake Road, off Vermont 102 in the town of Brunswick about 3:15 p.m. Oct. 25, 2022. Burch has since been fired for unrelated reasons, testimony showed.
“I’m happy to go home and be able to go back to work,” Frizzell told a reporter after the 5-day trial. If convicted, he could have faced up to a 20-year prison sentence.
Frizzell’s legal problems are not fully over. He has pleaded not guilty in Vermont Superior Court in Guildhall to felony charges of assault and robbery and aggravated assault for the same incident. However Essex County State’s Attorney Vince Illuzzi, who had filed his charges first, said Friday evening he plans to look at the federal court records, including the trial transcript, to determine his next step.
The federal prosecution appeared to be an uphill battle from the start, in part because Burch, the fill-in postal delivery person, had told at least 5 versions about the confrontation between the two men, lawyers had noted during the trial.