JUSTICE FOR MICHELLE GARDNER-QUINN.
A Rutland, Vermont jury has convicted Brian Rooney in the 2006 rape and murder of 21 year old University of Vermont coed, Michelle Gardner-Quinn. The jury took a little over 6 hours in deliberations to find Brian Rooney guilty of aggravated murder. Personally, it should have taken them 6 minutes. However, justice was served.
Brian Rooney, good riddance to bad rubbish
After more than six hours of deliberations, jurors found Brian Rooney guilty of aggravated murder in the 2006 slaying of Michelle Gardner-Quinn, 21, of Arlington, Va.
He now faces a mandatory sentence of life without parole.
“Justice works once in a while,” the victim’s mother, Diane Gardner Quinn, said as she hugged former Burlington police chief Thomas Tremblay, who oversaw the investigation.
Gardner-Quinn, an environmental studies major, had just transferred to UVM when she vanished Oct. 7, 2006.
Justice for Michelle Gardner-Quinn
The trial had been moved from Burlington, VT to Rutland as defense attorneys thought that a change of venue was needed to get a fair trail away from the place where the crime was committed. They could have changed the venue to Mars and he would have been found guilty. Try as the defense attorneys might, Brian Rooney will be spending the rest of his life behind bars without parole.
The parents of Michelle Gardner-Quinn, Diane Gardner Quinn (left) and John-Charles Quinn, react as the jury delivers a guilty verdict in Brian Rooney’s murder trial in Vermont District Court in Rutland on Thursday May 22, 2008. Rooney is accused of abducting, raping and killing University of Vermont student Gardner-Quinn in October of 2006. (GLENN RUSSELL, Free Press)
Gardner-Quinn, who grew up in North Arlington, disappeared from downtown Burlington, where she had been celebrating a friend’s 21st birthday. She bumped into Rooney after she became separated from friends and her cellphone died, court documents said. Her body was found a week later, face-down and in a fetal position near a popular swimming hole. She had been sexually assaulted, beaten and strangled.
Prosecutor Rosemary Gretkowski told jurors in closing arguments yesterday that the DNA match and other evidence established Rooney’s guilt, the Associated Press reported. “The truth is that Michelle had the misfortune of bad timing: dead cellphone and uttering the innocent words ‘Excuse me, sir, may I borrow your phone?’ to the wrong stranger,” Gretkowski said.
- Brian Rooney found guilty in murder of Michelle Gardner Quinn
- Brian Rooney will spend the rest of his life in prison
- GUILTY: Jury convicts Rooney
- Quotes from trial in death of University of Vermont student