BENNINGTON — Monday was not the first time Michael J. Myers, 43, has been accused of attempted murder.
In March 2008, Myers, then 34, pleaded not guilty to attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault with a weapon, reckless endangerment, unlawful trespass, resisting arrest, leaving the scene of a crash, driving under the influence of alcohol third offense, two counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and two counts of unlawful mischief.
The charges were filed against him after he got into a drunken altercation with a Chapel Road man and rammed the man's mobile home with a truck. According to the man's testimony at Myers' trial, Myers was upset the man refused to do Nazi-themed tattoo work on him.
The attempted first-degree murder charge was ultimately reduced to a second-degree attempted murder charge, then a jury acquitted him of it at trial in 2009. Myers was convicted by that same jury of one count of reckless endangerment, unlawful trespass, leaving the scene of a crash, driving while under the influence, resisting arrest and two counts of aggravated assault on a police officer during his arrest, for which he was later sentenced to serve between seven and 15 years in prison.
It's not clear how long Myers had been free on furlough prior to the incident on Friday where he allegedly stabbed his 19-year-old nephew in the back after running the teen's moped off the road.
On Monday, in Vermont Superior Court Criminal Division, Myers pleaded not guilty to first-degree attempted murder, and aggravated assault with a weapon. He was ordered held without bail at the Rutland jail.
According to an affidavit by Bennington Police Officer Larry Cole, Myers' nephew told police that around 1:20 p.m. he left a home on Chapel Road on his moped. Myers came along in a Volvo and they stopped to talk in the road. The nephew told Myers he was back from college for the weekend and wanted to meet later. Myers said he was busy, and the two went their separate ways.
Myers then drove up beside the nephew and ran him off the road into a ditch. Myers then shouted "You want to (expletive) my girlfriend," then attacked him. The nephew said he felt a pain in his back and realized he'd been stabbed. He said he fought Myers off and fled, then was picked up by a stranger and driven to the hospital.
Police said the nephew suffered a punctured left lung from a stab wound to his back, as well as a cut to his arm.
Cole wrote that it's believed Myers took the moped and fled the scene. He was later found in a room at the Autumn Inn where he surrendered to police.
After being read his Miranda rights, Myers asked Cole what he was accused of. When told he allegedly stabbed his nephew, Myers said, "I don't remember that."
He gave no further statements, however it was discovered that he sent a text message to his sister that read, "I did something really bad."
At the arraignment hearing, Myers attorney, Frederick Bragdon, said the Department of Corrections intends to revoke his client's furlough, but he reserved the right for Myers to have a bail hearing on these new charges at a later date.
The incident caused police to place three local schools under lockdown. They received information that Myers might be in the area after his girlfriend contacted them, saying her daughter had seen him in the bushes by their house on School Street. She called police after learning of the stabbing incident and told them she thought he might have come to harm her.
At the arraignment hearing, she testified that she was not afraid of Myers and would call police on him if need be. The court ordered that Myers not harass her or discuss this case with her. Myers is allowed no contact at all with his nephew or his nephew's parents.
— Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at 802-447-7567 Ext. 115