BENNINGTON -- A Bennington man was found not guilty Tuesday by a jury of allegedly pouring hot soup on a woman.
Francis "Frank" E. Waterman, 44, pleaded not guilty in January to first degree aggravated domestic assault.
According to an affidavit by Bennington police, they were called to Benmont Avenue in the early morning hours on Jan. 9 by a woman who said Waterman had thrown a container of hot soup on her, burning her chest. She also said Waterman hit her in the head, but there was no mark there, according to police. She said she had also struck Waterman, but only after the soup was thrown.
According to the affidavit. Waterman told police he was making soup for himself and the woman and they got into an argument and she hit him. He said he was holding the soup when he was struck, and some landed on the woman.
Present at the scene, according to police, was Jeffrey Elwell, who told them then that he saw Waterman throw the soup at the woman and hit her. On the witness stand Tuesday, he testified that his memory of the entire incident was poor, and he was not sure if he saw it happen or not. He also testified that he and Waterman had been drinking that day.
Since he pleaded not guilty in January, the state has filed six counts of violating release conditions against Waterman. Those charges are still pending.
-- Keith Whitcomb Jr.