Connecticut man gets 8 years in Hadley shooting

Marc  Veturis is shown during his arraignment in Eastern Hampshire District Court in Belchertown in January 2023.

Marc Veturis is shown during his arraignment in Eastern Hampshire District Court in Belchertown in January 2023. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO/DAN LITTLE


Staff Writer

Published: 03-29-2024 3:57 PM

NORTHAMPTON — A Connecticut man who shot and tried to kidnap a Hadley farmer in 2022 was sentenced Thursday to eight years in prison and three years probation after admitting guilt in the case.

Marc A. Veturis, 29, pleaded guilty before Hampshire Superior Court Judge Edward McDonough to armed assault to murder, assault and battery with a firearm and several other firearms charges in the shooting of Bruce Jenks in December 2022.

Veturis has been jailed since his arrest in January 2023.

Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Suhl recommended a sentence of 10 to 12 years in state prison, while defense attorney Francis DiMento argued for a sentence of five years.

Before changing his plea on the seven criminal counts, Veturis admitted that he drove to Jenks’ workplace with a loaded firearm, attempted to kidnap him at gunpoint, and then shot him at point-blank range through the shoulder. He fired three additional shots in Jenks’ direction as Jenks ran away, before getting in his car and returning to Connecticut.

Laying out the facts that the commonwealth would have attempted to prove at trial, Suhl said Veturis, who lived with his parents in Waterbury, began a relationship a few years back with a woman who had been in a relationship with Jenks 20 years previously.

That relationship had ended in violence when Jenks stabbed her multiple times at their Northampton home, leaving her in a coma for three days, in July 2000. She also lost a kidney and her spleen in the attack.

In 2001, Jenks was sentenced in Hampshire Superior Court to eight to nine years in state prison for the assault.

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Veturis traveled to Jenks’ Mill Valley Creamery in April 2022 and, in a brief encounter, asked him if he’d accepted Jesus, Suhl said. The incident unsettled Jenks enough that he took a photo of the man’s license plate as he drove off.

Veturis drove to Hadley again on New Year’s Eve, entering the Creamery store around 4:15 and asking for jumper cables. After a clerk went to find some, Suhl said, Jenks arrived and, not recognizing Veturis from the April incident, began to help him start his car, which did not need a jump start.

After that was done, while Jenks was putting the jumper cables back in his truck, Veturis came around the back pointing a .38 Special at him and ordering him into his car.

When Jenks resisted, Suhl said, Veturis told him, “Either get in the car or take a hollow-point to the chest.”

Jenks refused and Veturis shot him at point-blank range. The bullet went through Jenks’ shoulder, missing vital organs and arteries “by sheer luck” and causing no permanent damage, Suhl said. As Jenks ran to the store Veturis fired three more shots after him that hit the barn.

Veturis took off in his car as Hadley police responded to the shooting. With a description of the car but no plate number, Northampton police stopped him on I-91 south but let him go.

Jenks was soon able to provide police his photo of the vehicle’s license plate, and police issued a warrant for Veturis’ arrest. They pinged his phone to Waterbury and asked police there to arrest him.

After going to a New Year’s Eve party, Veturis went home and told his parents what he’d done, Suhl said. His father brought him to the police station at 2 a.m.

Suhl said prosecutors believed that Veturis’ planning and premeditation, the point-blank shooting and his endangering of the public justified their sentencing recommendation.

Arguing for a lesser sentence, DiMento said Veturis comes from a close-knit Italian-American family, and many of them have shown up for all his court appearances. He noted that Veturis wrote an apology to Jenks, although he was angry and unrepentant in the beginning.

Suhl said prosecutors questioned the sincerity of Veturis’ apology since his jail calls showed a complete lack of remorse, though he acknowledged one time that he knew he would “have to muster up an apology at some point.”

Suhl also said the possibility that his girlfriend had influenced Veturis’ actions was thoroughly investigated. A review of phone correspondence between the two unearthed no evidence that she was aware of or involved in Veturis’ scheme, she said.

Veturis will serve the probation term after his release from prison, and also will have to pay $1,200 in restitution for the damage to Jenks’ barn. He received credit for the 453 days he has spent in jail.

Jenks was in court Thursday but declined to speak. McDonough thanked him and Veturis’ family for their presence.