BURLINGTON, Vt. – A part-time snowplow driver was convicted Wednesday of luring a prep-school teacher out of her Vermont home under the guise of a broken down car, then killed her.
A jury rejected arguments by Allen Prue's defense that his wife, Patricia Prue, killed 33-year-old Melissa Jenkins in a jealous rage on March 25, 2012.
Prosecutors said the Prues lured Jenkins from her home as part of a long-planned crime. Jenkins' nude body was found the next day in the Connecticut River. She had been strangled.
Allen Prue, 32, cried when the jury's verdict was announced after six hours of deliberations. His lawyer had argued his client was unaware of his wife's plan to kill Jenkins.
Allen Prue was convicted of first-degree murder, conspiracy and attempted kidnapping in the death of Jenkins, a teacher at St. Johnsbury Academy.
Patricia Prue, 34, is being tried separately on an aggravated murder charge and other counts.
Prosecutors said Allen Prue gave a detailed confession to police that implicated both him and his wife.
Jenkins, a single mother, was reported missing on March 25, 2012, after her vehicle was found idling on her rural road with her 2-year-old son inside. The next day, her nude, strangled and beaten body was found in a remote spot.
Police were led to the couple by a business card for Prue's plow business. The killing shocked the Northeast Kingdom, an area where violent crime is rare. The trials were moved out of Caledonia County.
Prue, who had plowed Jenkins' driveway, and his wife were arrested two days after she was killed.