Crime and Justice

Suspect pleads not guilty to murder charge in South Burlington shooting 

Denroy Dasent appears remotely in Chittenden County Superior criminal court on Thursday, Oct. 6. Dasent is a suspect in two homicides. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger

The man charged this week in a Burlington homicide pleaded not guilty on Thursday to murder in a South Burlington shooting death that took place on the same night.

Denroy Dasent, 52, of South Burlington, was arraigned on a second-degree murder charge in Chittenden County Superior criminal court in Burlington for allegedly shooting 37-year-old Brian K. Billings on Sunday night.

Dasent, who appeared in court by video from Northwest State Correctional Facility in St. Albans, was ordered held without bail.

According to court documents filed in the South Burlington case, Dasent allegedly shot Billings outside his apartment at the Swiss Host Motel on Williston Road. According to Kylie Clark, who lived with Billings and had two children with him, Dasent knocked on the apartment door and asked to speak with Billings, who followed Dasent outside. Clark told detectives that she then heard an argument followed by what sounded like gunshots. She said Billings walked back inside the apartment and collapsed while Dasent walked away, according to the affidavit. 

Clark said in an interview with detectives that she and Billings had known Dasent as “Delroy” and that Dasent had previously lived at the Swiss Host Motel. She also told police that he owned a restaurant in the food court of the University Mall in South Burlington.

Members of the Vermont State Police dive team search for evidence in the Ferry Dock Marina in Burlington on Tuesday, Oct. 4. Photo by Patrick Crowley/VTDigger

South Burlington police officers stated in court documents that Billings was pronounced dead at the scene. While investigating, South Burlington police were alerted to the sighting of Dasent’s gold SUV near the Pine Street homicide scene in Burlington, where Dasent is alleged to have fatally shot Sheiknoor Osman earlier on Sunday night.

South Burlington detectives also state in the court documents that after his arrest late Sunday night, Dasent made several comments to Burlington detectives, including, “I took two of them (expletives) down,” and “I will kill for my kids.” Detectives said the statements were captured on a body camera worn by a Burlington detective.

Denroy Dasent appears remotely in Chittenden County Superior criminal court on Thursday. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger

In later interviews with police, Dasent said that when he lived at the Swiss Host, Billings had made a comment about Dasent’s daughter that Dasent thought was inappropriate. 

Clark told police, however, that when Dasent arrived at the door of the Swiss Host on Sunday night, Billings did not appear to know the reason for the visit. Clark said that the only person Billings “worried about” was his sister and her new boyfriend, who went by the name “Snake.” Detectives wrote in court documents that “Snake” was a nickname for Osman, the victim in the Burlington shooting.

Dasent told police that he owned a Glock handgun and that he “got rid of it” in the water prior to his arrest at the Burlington waterfront on Sunday night, according to the affidavit. The Burlington Police Department announced in a press release on Wednesday that the Vermont State Police dive team had recovered a Glock in the Ferry Dock Marina on Tuesday. Court filings say that the recovered weapon’s serial number matches a weapon that Dasent’s wife had purchased.

Members of the Vermont State Police dive team search for evidence in the Ferry Dock Marina in Burlington on Tuesday, Oct. 4. Photo by Patrick Crowley/VTDigger

South Burlington detectives wrote in court documents that shell casings found at both shooting scenes from Sunday night match shells that had been found in Dasent’s apartment, which had been searched on Sept. 30 in connection with a gunfire incident in City Hall Park on Sept. 28. The court document goes on to say that, according to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the gun and ammunition were purchased by Dasent’s wife who is identified in court documents as Suesan Dasent.

In her interviews with South Burlington police, Seusan Dasent said she was not aware of the “inappropriate comment” Billings allegedly made about the Dasents’ daughter, according to the court filing.

In the arraignment on Thursday, Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Novotny said an evidence hearing should be scheduled for the same time as Denroy Dasent’s evidence hearing in the Burlington case. That court date is scheduled for Oct. 17.

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Patrick Crowley

About Patrick

Patrick Crowley is VTDigger's Burlington Reporter. Previously, he has worked for the Brattleboro Reformer and wrote as a freelance reporter in Ventura County, California. Patrick is a musician and volunteers as a firefighter and advanced EMT.

Email: pcrowley@vtdigger.org

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