Man pleads not guilty to manslaughter charge in Westminster stabbing death



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BRATTLEBORO, Vermont — A man with a long criminal history pleaded not guilty Monday to a manslaughter charge in the stabbing death of another man at a Westminster home.

Lonnie Place, 38, of Westminster, was ordered held without bail after he entered the plea in Vermont Superior Court in Brattleboro. No lawyer had been assigned yet to represent Place.

A police affidavit filed with the court said Christina Allcock, 45, called police at about 1:30 a.m. Sunday and reported someone had been stabbed at her mobile home in Shady Pines Park. Allcock told the dispatcher Place had been holding the knife when the victim was stabbed, but she felt it was an accident.

When police arrived they found Michael Johnson, 37, of Bellows Falls, lying on the floor with what appeared to be a stab wound in his chest. Johnson was unresponsive and later pronounced dead.

A phone listing for Christina Allcock was not in service Monday.

Ryan Allcock, 23, Christina Allcock's son, told police the victim said "I think Lonnie stabbed me a little bit" before he was lowered to the floor, but there was no argument or lead-up to the stabbing. He heard Place say he did not mean to kill anyone.

While Place was being questioned at the police barracks he attempted to run out of the interview room and flee the building, but was caught, the affidavit said.

The court documents said that over the years Place had been convicted of three felonies and dozens of lesser crimes.

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