BENNINGTON — A Massachusetts man was arraigned on Monday after a state warden said he believed the man was driving a snowmobile drunk on Jan. 11 and led wardens on a pursuit for 4.5 miles after they attempted to test his blood alcohol level.
David Carpenter, 48, of Lenox, Mass., was charged in Bennington criminal court with misdemeanor counts of operating a snowmobile while under the influence of alcohol and operating a vehicle in an attempt to elude law enforcement officers.
In an affidavit, Vermont Fish and Wildlife Warden Trainee David Taddei said he and another warden were out on Jan. 11 around 2:30 p.m. conducting safety patrols in Woodford. Taddei said they came across Carpenter and a few other men and noticed an open can of beer on Carpenter’s snowmobile.
While Carpenter said he had only had a few beers during the day, Taddei said he noticed signs of impairment. The wardens decided to escort Carpenter back to their truck so they could conduct a blood alcohol content test, Taddei said.
However, Taddei said Carpenter drove off instead, leading to a pursuit that lasted 4.5 miles until wardens caught up with him in a parking lot in Heartwellville. Taddei said Carpenter admitted to trying to elude the wardens.
Carpenter refused to submit to blood alcohol content testing, according to the affidavit.
On Monday, Carpenter pleaded innocent and asked for time to hire an attorney. He was released on $500 bail.
BURLINGTON — A former Vermont State Police sergeant was taken into custody Monday to begin serving up to two years in prison after pleading guilty to charges he padded his timesheets. He must pay $202,000 in restitution, money that will be taken from his pension over a period of about six years.
James Deeghan entered the guilty pleas to two counts of false claims and two counts of neglect of duty during a change of plea hearing in Vermont Superior Court in Burlington.
Deeghan told the court he had been under “tremendous” financial pressures and that the fraud became routine for him. He said he acted alone and he apologized for his actions.
“I just hope people don’t hold state police responsible for what I did,” he said.
In court papers filed Friday afternoon, investigators said they had documented almost $213,000 in fraud by Deeghan. State police suspended Deeghan on July 9 and he resigned the next day after a colleague noticed discrepancies in his pay sheets.
In addition to padding his timesheet between 2008 and 2012, Deeghan was accused of writing 978 fake traffic tickets.
In court, Deeghan said he hoped people don’t hold state police responsible for what he did.
The Burlington Free Press (http://bfpne.ws/13v6clh ) is reporting it will take about six years to repay the money.
Judge Brian Grearson called the 23-24 month sentence to be followed by probation, “a fair resolution.”
“This is a sad day. This is a tragic day,” Grearson said.
BURLINGTON — The Vermont State Police trooper charged with padding his time sheets is planning to withdraw his not-guilty plea.
The Burlington Free Press reports (http://bfpne.ws/UYmv6d) there’s a plea agreement in the works for former Sgt. Jim Deeghan, a former state police patrol commander in Chittenden County. A change-of-plea hearing is scheduled for Monday morning in Vermont Superior Court in Burlington.
Details of the plea agreement were not made public Wednesday. Prosecutors and Deeghan’s lawyer have been meeting at the courthouse at a judge’s office.
Deeghan resigned in July. He had pleaded not guilty to two felony charges that he claimed 63 hours of overtime in June that he didn’t work.
Investigators believed Deeghan overcharged almost $140,000 from Dec. 21, 2008 to July 14, 2012.
BURLINGTON — A Colchester woman has been sentenced to 30 days in jail for hitting a pedestrian with her car while texting and driving.
Twenty-year-old Emma Vieira of Colchester had pleaded guilty in October to grossly negligent operation of a motor vehicle with injury resulting for striking and seriously injuring 53-year-old Deb Drewniak in August, 2011, as Drewniak was walking her dog in the dark in Colchester.
On Tuesday, the families of both the driver and the victim discussed the Viera’s remorse and appropriate jail time. The Burlington Free Press reports (http://bfpne.ws/MuLU ) that both families said Vieira expressed remorse but they had different opinions about whether she should serve time in jail.
Judge Michael Kupersmith sentenced Vieira to 30 days in jail, five months home confinement and five years of probation.
BURLINGTON — A Vermont man has been sentenced to more than seven years in prison for possessing child pornography and firearms.
Court records say 52-year-old Dennis Wayne Baldwin of Barre was receiving, possessing, and distributing child pornography with file-sharing software that he had installed on his computers.
Baldwin, a convicted felon, also possessed seven firearms.
Baldwin was arrested on Feb. 28, 2012. He pleaded guilty to the charges in August.
ROYALTON — Vermont State Police say a 19-year-old man is accused of driving 102 mph in a 65 mph zone on Interstate 89.
Vincent Flores of Burlington was stopped about 6:15 p.m. on New Year’s Eve near Exit 3 in Royalton.
The Burlington Free Press reports (http://bfpne.ws/UR4mqR) he’s been charged with negligent operation. He’s scheduled to be in court on Jan. 29.
A Pennsylvania man will answer to several counts of prescription fraud, Vermont State Police said.
The state police Drug Diversion Unit alleged that John Dickson Harper III, 41, of Leesport, Penn., had used multiple prescribers and multiple pharmacies in four towns across three counties, to obtain prescriptions for controlled substances.
Police said the prescription fraud incidents occurred during April, May and June in Bennington, Rutland and Windsor counties. Harper obtained prescriptions for hydrocodone, oxycodone and hydromorphone, police said. Harper was cited to appear in Rutland criminal court on Jan. 21.
BURLINGTON — Lawyers for a Vermont man potentially facing the death penalty in the sexual assault and killing of his 12-year-old niece in 2008 have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review a key ruling in the case.
Lawyers for Michael Jacques say the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was wrong when it ruled that jurors in his upcoming trial could hear about allegations of an obstruction-of-justice scheme Jacques allegedly tried to carry out while in jail.
The Burlington Free Press reports (http://bfpne.ws/VkIAu7) records show the high court is set to consider the request at a closed-door session Friday.
Jacques pleaded not guilty to charges that he abducted, sexually assaulted and killed Brooke Bennett.
Prosecutors want to use evidence that Jacques tried to shift blame to a make-believe sex ring.
A transient woman living in Rutland will answer to a charge of attempted murder today after Rutland police say she tried to cut the throat of an officer during an incident inside the department Thursday night.
Jennifer Berube, 39, and her boyfriend John MacLean III, were arrested Thursday afternoon for allegedly trying to use a stolen credit card at businesses on North Main Street and Woodstock Avenue. The pair were being booked on a number of petty offenses and probably would have been released with a citation to appear in court on a later date when Berube somehow obtained a multi-bladed knife and attempted to pull it across the throat of an officer on duty in the booking area, according to Rutland police Sgt. John Sly.
“If it wasn’t for the officer’s skill set, it would have been a totally different outcome,” Sly said. “The minute she laid hands on him, he responded and neutralized the situation.”
Instead of cutting across the officer’s throat the way Sly said she intended too, the blade cut only part of the unnamed officer’s throat. Sly said police were waiting until the officer’s out-of-town relations had been notified to release his identity. The injured officer was taken to Rutland Regional Medical Center where he was treated and released.
Berube was also taken to the hospital after she was restrained by the officer and other members of the force who rushed to assist him. During the struggle, Sly said the woman cut both hands on the knife she wielded.
Both Berube and MacLean will appear in Rutland criminal court today to answer to charges related to the use of a stolen credit card, possession of stolen property and resisting arrest. Berube will also answer to a felony charge of second degree attempted murder against a law enforcement officer which carries a potential life sentence.
BURLINGTON — A Hinesburg man released to a drug rehabilitation program after being charged with operating a methamphetamine lab is back behind bars after being kicked out of the rehab program.
Citing court records, The Burlington Free Press (http://bfpne.ws/TFjVUU ) reports that 19-year-old Jacob Berino was arrested after being dismissed from the Valley Vista rehab center in Bradford last week for non-participation.
A federal magistrate has ruled Berino should be held until his criminal case is resolved, but said he would reconsider if an intensive treatment program is found.
Officials say Berino has been charged with eight crimes since July, most of them tied to what his mother calls a “horrible drug problem.”
Berino was seriously burned in October during an explosion at what authorities called a secret drug lab.