Garth Drew Out Of Prison Again
BY ELLEN CRONIN Staff Writer
The Caledonian Record
Thursday August 23, 2001
ST. JOHNSBURY VERMONT ... Two months to the day after he attacked a motorist here, the Vermont Department of Corrections released murderer Garth Drew from prison.
It is not the first time Drew, who as a teen-ager shot another teen over an alleged drug dispute, has gotten furlough.
Nor was this summer the first time he got into trouble while out on release. He robbed a judge while he was on furlough two years ago.
On Tuesday, Drew was released from the prison in Newport and taken to the Vermont Department of Corrections field office in St. Johnsbury. It is not known whether authorities immediately let him return to his apartment on Drouin Street.
A call Wednesday from The Caledonian-Record seeking information from Richard Turner, director of the corrections department, was not returned.
Drew, 32, remains under a sentence of 15 to 30 years for the 1986 murder of James Parker of Danville.
Drew, who started his adult criminal career at age 14 with an armed robbery, graduated to murder at age 17. He shot Parker over a supposed dispute involving $600 worth of marijuana.
Plus, Drew's name has been linked to the disappearance of Russ Bovit, a 31-year-old Walden man who vanished under violent circumstances a few months before the Parker murder.
As part of his plea deal, Drew told authorities Bovit's body was in Lake Willoughby. Authorities took the tip seriously enough to bring in divers and high-tech sonar equipment. But no body was found.
Drew -- who has been denied parole -- was released by corrections officials in the late 1990s -- and he soon committed a new felony.
Rita Villa, a judge who presently heads the state's traffic court system, gave him a place to stay at her Burlington home. He was there about 18 months before moving back to the St. Johnsbury area, where he was from originally.
The day he moved out, he stole a $7,500 silverware set from the judge, pawning it for $700. Burlington police caught him. In 1999, he was sentenced to another five years.
But again, corrections officials soon gave him furlough rather than keeping him in prison. Drew returned to St. Johnsbury and settled on Drouin Street.
On June 21, he went after a stranger, James Lang, 23, who had driven on his (Drew's) street. Lang told police Drew physically attacked him.
Drew got 60 days in jail for disorderly conduct -- a sentence that technically was added to the end of his murder sentence and the theft sentence involving the silverware.
Two months after the sentence started, he again got furloughed. ...