Police: Vermont man stopped in DeMotte confessed to homicide

2013-07-03T00:46:00Z 2013-07-03T22:49:04Z Police: Vermont man stopped in DeMotte confessed to homicideTimes Staff nwitimes.com
July 03, 2013 12:46 am  • 

DEMOTTE | A Vermont man was arrested late Monday after he confessed to a homicide during a traffic stop in DeMotte, police said.

A Jasper County deputy first spotted Peter Lavalette, 49, of Derby, Vt., about 10:23 p.m. in the parking lot of the Family Express at U.S. 231 and Ind. 10 after the business had closed, according to a release from the Jasper County Sheriff's Department.

Lavalette was sitting inside a white Ford Focus station wagon. He told the deputy he was lost and asked for directions, police said.

After providing directions, the deputy ran Lavalette's license plate and discovered his name didn't match the plate, police said. The deputy followed Lavalette, who was driving erratically on U.S. 231, police said.

Deputy Kevin Lewis stopped Lavalette south of Ind. 10.

"While the standard field sobriety test was in process, Lavalette stated to Deputy Lewis that the owner of the Ford Focus was dead," the release stated. "Lavalette went on to state that he had in fact killed the owner."

The deputy arrested Lavalette on a felony drunken driving charge, police said. Lavalette provided the victim's name and location of the homicide scene, police said.

Jasper County police alerted Vermont State Police, who confirmed early Tuesday that they located a body with evidence of a homicide at a residence in Westfield, Vt. The man's body was taken to the medical examiner's office for an autopsy. Authorities have not released the identity of the deceased until family is notified.

Lavalette is being held at the Jasper County Jail on felony operating while intoxicated charges, police said. He's expected to be extradited to Vermont to face charges there. It's unknown if he's being represented by a lawyer.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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