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Press Release

Kahliq Richardson Sentenced for Federal Gun Crime

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Vermont

Burlington, Vermont – The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced that Kahliq Richardson, 20, formerly of Rutland County, was sentenced yesterday in the United States District Court in Burlington to 30 months of imprisonment for possessing a firearm while being an unlawful user of controlled substances. United States District Judge William K. Sessions III also ordered that Richardson serve three years of supervised release following his period of incarceration.

According to court documents, on April 3, 2021, Richardson was at the Quality Inn in Rutland when he shot 19-year-old Jonah Pandiani in the head. Jonah died instantly. The investigation of the homicide revealed that Richardson had a history of drug use and had been using crack cocaine in the hours before the shooting. The homicide and  the investigation that followed resulted in the instant federal firearm charge, as well as state charges for voluntary manslaughter. The state charges are still pending.  

In imposing the 30-month sentence, Judge Sessions varied upward from the otherwise applicable advisory Federal Sentencing Guidelines in part to recognize the recklessness which led to death of Jonah Pandiani.   

This case was investigated by the Vermont State Police, the Rutland Police Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Wendy L. Fuller represented the government. Mark A. Kaplan, Esq. represented Richardson.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.  For more information about Project Safe Neighborhoods, please visit


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Updated August 1, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses