Friday June 28, 2013

KEITH WHITCOMB JR.

Staff Writer

BENNINGTON -- Police said a Manchester man is accused of returning to the apartment of his girlfriend and assaulting her, hours after police separated them following a domestic incident.

Brett M. Dezaine, 26, pleaded not guilty to aggravated domestic assault, and misdemeanor domestic assault Thursday in Bennington Superior Court Criminal Division. He was ordered to be held without bail until a hearing to determine what, if any, conditions under which he may be released.

According to an affidavit by Manchester Police Officer Daniel Steere, on Wednesday at 8:39 p.m. he and another officer was dispatched to an apartment in Manchester for a reported domestic fight.

Police spoke to a woman in the company of three young children who said earlier in the day she had argued with her boyfriend, Dezaine, and the police had been called. The matter resolved with police telling Dezaine to leave for the day, but later he came back and was let in by one of the woman’s children. She said an argument ensued over the use of a vehicle, and that Dezaine grabbed her hair, then her throat and did not let go for about five seconds. Dezaine was angry and threatening when this happened.

Steere wrote that while the woman was speaking to him, the oldest child, 6, interrupted and said "Daddy said he was going to kill mommy."

Dezaine was at the apartment when police arrived, and told them he and the woman had argued over him needing the vehicle so he could get his medicine. He said he did not touch the woman, but also said she would not lie about what happened. After being arrested, he told police he has a prescription for marijuana, and the argument also entailed the woman taking issue with his spending money on that but not diapers. He said he did not need to spend money for the marijuana up front.

He reiterated to police that the woman would not lie, and he did not touch her. Steere wrote that Dezaine said someone was lying when he was informed of the woman’s statement. According to Steere, Dezaine was highly upset throughout much of the interview.

Deputy State’s Attorney Jennifer Barrett, argued for Dezaine to be held without bail because of past violent convictions and failures to appear. She said the nature of each case was more severe than what the conviction indicated, plus the fact that Dezaine returned to the woman’s apartment after being told to leave was an indicator that the woman’s safety could not be assured.

Dezaine’s attorney, Frederick Bragdon, said the convictions are minor and what the court must look at. Judge Cortland Corsones said a hearing would be held soon where the attorneys could present more detailed evidence on whether or not Dezaine can be released while the case is pending.

Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at kwhitcomb@benningtonbanner.com.