HIGHGATE MURDER SUSPECT CLAIMS TO BE VICTIM OF ARMED ROBBERY
By Gregory J. Lamoureux
HIGHGATE: A shooting in Highgate Saturday morning resulted in one man being killed and accusations of a robbery by the alleged shooter.
According to newly filed court records obtained by the County Courier, the victim of the shooting had just robbed the shooter at gunpoint in the shooter’s own home.
If what is described in the court filing is correct, Logan Pratt, 33, showed up at the home of Joshua Lafromboise in the wee hours of the morning on Saturday, driven by 30-year-old Brittany Blanchard. Pratt allegedly asked to borrow Blanchard’s vehicle to go to Lafromboise’s home on Route 7 in Highgate, but declined, instead offering to drive Pratt to Lafromboise’s home herself.
Blanchard told police that Pratt and Blanchard were living out of Blanchard’s vehicle since Pratt had been released from prison.
According to testimony provided to police by Blanchard, Pratt came out of Lafromboise’s home quickly and told Blanchard to drive. As the vehicle left the driveway, Lafromboise began shooting at the vehicle with his .40 caliber Smith and Wesson.
Lafromboise told police that he was awoken between 5 am and 6 am by a masked intruder pointing a firearm in his face.
Lafromboise was home with at least four other people when the robbery allegedly occurred, according to court filings.
Lafromboise later spoke with police, saying that an altercation ensued between the armed and masked man and Lafromboise. During that altercation, Lafromboise allegedly grabbed the firearm, which is suspected to have caused it to jam moments later when the masked man tried to pull the trigger.
Lafromboise told police in his interview that he retrieved his own weapon and began shooting at the intruder as the intruder fled the scene in a vehicle.
According to Lafromboise, the intruder, later identified at Pratt, had taken a lockbox that was hidden behind the family’s television, which contained between $400-$800 in cash.
He told police that he later found the lockbox about 100 yards down the road, empty of its contents.
Lafromboise told police that despite the doors on the property being locked regularly at night, they found the back door wide open after the burglary.
According to police, there were cameras located inside the Lafromboise residence, but there were no memory cards in the cameras to capture what had transpired.
A Detective from the Vermont State Police asked Lafromboise why anyone would break into his home. He replied that he “was a drug user and had drugs, money, and guns in the house,” but told police he didn’t think he had enough drugs to be robbed over.
Lafromboise told the detective that he has marijuana in his home and that he goes to the methadone clinic daily.
Lafromboise admitted to the detective that he knew Pratt and the two used to be friends until recently when the two hadn’t seen each other because Pratt was incarcerated.
The story that Lafromboise told may not be the complete picture of what happened, according to the court records. Police later located at least two shell casings four miles south of the Lafromboise residence, matching the .40 caliber pistol that Lafromboise used in the shooting.
Two different witnesses also came forward to police later in the day on Saturday, noting that they saw two vehicles that matched the description of Pratt’s vehicle, and a vehicle that Lafromboise could have had access to in the wee hours of the morning on Saturday. That is backed up by video surveillance evidence from a home on Route 7, several miles from Lafromboise’s home.
Blanchard and Pratt would continue to flee until they came upon a Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy parked near the entrance of Handy Toyota in St. Albans, at which point Blanchard stopped for help.
The Deputy rendered medical aid to Pratt until AmCare ambulance arrived and transported Pratt to UVM Medical Center in Burlington.
The incident was beginning to come together for police by mid-afternoon when police learned from doctors at UVM Medical Center that Pratt had died at the hospital from a gunshot wound to the head.
One of the people who were in the residence with Lafromboise the morning of the shooting told police that Lafromboise left the residence with her black Volkswagon, which matched other bystanders’ accounts of the vehicle that was giving chase to the vehicle Pratt was fleeing in. The witness also told police that she heard Lafromboise say that he had shot the window and tail-light out on the fleeing vehicle and that he had “bumped” up against the vehicle while giving chase.
While police were searching the vehicle that Pratt fled in, multiple holes which appeared to be gunshot holes could be seen in the bumper, as well as scuff marks on the corners of the vehicle.
The police investigation revealed a Facebook message between Blanchard and Lafromboise’s girlfriend at 6:27 am, telling Lafromboise’s girlfriend that Pratt has been shot by Lafromboise in the head and chest, and that “Logan’s blood is on my hands and car.”
It wasn’t for another 30 minutes that Lafromboise would call 911 to report the robbery.
Police located a black revolver style BB gun on the front passenger floor of the vehicle that Blanchard and Pratt fled in, within arms reach of where Pratt would have been sitting when Lafromboise shot at the vehicle.
Pratt was known to authorities well before Saturday’s shooting. He has previous convictions for domestic assault, resisting arrest, and possession of heroin.
Three years ago, Pratt was arrested for forging at least 15 checks from his grandmother’s account.
In 2017, Pratt and Blanchard were both arrested on felony charges of selling controlled substances.
In 2015, Pratt was charged with a burglary at Moore Quality Auto, as well as a state police cruiser. During that incident, Pratt was accused of breaking a window to the police cruiser, stealing two tactical vests with ceramic plates, and numerous pieces of State Police uniform outerwear and equipment.
Pratt was accused in 2013 of pulling a gun on a St. Albans man who was at Pratt’s home to retrieve an iPad that belonged to a mutual acquaintance.
Lafromboise was initially set to be arraigned on Monday afternoon but his public defender asked the court to delay the arraignment by one day in the hopes that they could locate a person the court would approve to take custody of Lafromboise. The Judge, Hon. Martin Maley agreed but cautioned the defense from spending too much time on that, insinuating that he likely wouldn’t approve anyone for Lafromboise to be released to. Until then, Lafromboise is being held at Northwest Correctional Center in St Albans on the two felony charges without any bail amount in place.
The State is charging Lafromboise with second-degree murder for the killing of Pratt, as well as attempted murder in the second-degree for the danger that Blanchard was in during the shooting.
Lafromboise also has a criminal history known to law enforcement, though it is significantly less than that of Pratt’s criminal record.
in 2019, Lafromboise was charged with driving with a criminally suspended license. Any further criminal matters were not immediately publicly known.