BENNINGTON >> The following cases were heard recently in Vermont Superior Court Criminal Division Bennington Unit.
Man accused of stealing, crashing car
Ryan M. Brillon, 18, of Bennington, pleaded not guilty March 7 to aggravated vehicle operation without owner's consent, and careless or negligent vehicle operation. He was released under conditions. According to an affidavit by Bennington Police, on Feb. 7 they came upon a vehicle off the road and crashed into some trees at the end of Crescent Boulevard. They identified the owner as Brillon's mother, who said her son did not have permission to use the vehicle. Police ultimately made contact with Brillon who admitted to taking the car without asking. He said he had not been aware Crescent Boulevard was a dead-end until it was too late, and crashed the vehicle. He told police he did not report the incident because he had never been in a crash before and did know what to do, also his license was suspended.
Woman accused of stealing pills
Jessica A. Crowe, 38, whom court records list as being homeless, pleaded not guilty on March 7 to six counts of unlawful mischief, two counts of false information to police, and possession of stolen property, all misdemeanors. She also pleaded not guilty to a felony burglary charge.
According to affidavits by Bennington Police, on Dec. 29 they responded to the homeless shelter on North Street where two employees turned over a bag belonging to Crowe that contained a number of prescription medications not in her name, one of which had been reported stolen.
On Dec. 30, police were told by a passerby that a woman had been banging on the door to Rite-Aid on North Street. Police went there and found Crowe by the door. The glass on it was cracked. Crowe said it broke when she hit it with her hand. She told police she had been kicked out of the homeless shelter the day before and had nowhere else to go.
Also on Dec. 30, police received a call from a South Street woman who said her apartment had been broken into and her medications had been stolen. She suspected Crowe, as Crowe had been asking about when one of her doctor's appointments was, how long it would take her to get to it, and how long she would be there.
Crowe admitted to the break-in, saying she is addicted to pills and needed some to stop her withdrawal sickness.
Man accused of strangling woman
Max Misch, 33, of Bennington, pleaded not guilty March 14 to first degree aggravated domestic assault. He was released under conditions, among them he have no contact with the woman he is accused of assaulting. According to a police affidavit, on March 13 Bennington Police were dispatched to a home in Bennington for a reported fight between a couple. The woman told police that she and Misch had been in an argument that turned physical and that he strangled her. Misch admitted to putting his hands on the woman after she had punched and spit on him.
Man accused of DUI, crashing car with child passenger
Mark Bowen, 53, of Shaftsbury, pleaded not guilty March 14 to a first offense of driving under the influence of alcohol, and reckless endangerment. He was released under conditions. According to an affidavit by Vermont State Police, on Feb. 15 troopers responded to the area of Old West Road and Route 7A for a car off the road. They found the driver, Bowen, under the influence of alcohol. He gave a breath sample at the scene showing his blood-alcohol level to be .88 percent. An evidentiary sample showed it as .067 percent. He said he had one beer with dinner. Police said there was an 8-year-old child in the car at the time of the crash. The road was snow covered and beginning to turn icy, police said.
Bookkeeper accused of stealing $8,000
Tanya Larouche, 36, of Brandon, pleaded not guilty on March 14 to four felony counts of forgery. She was released under conditions she not contact the alleged victims. According to Vermont State Police, on Jan. 19 they received a report from the owners of Northland Builders and Fine Custom Homes, a Peru company. They said Larouche does per diem bookkeeping for them and handles the paying of vendors. They became suspicious when a vendor payment appeared unusually high. An investigation revealed that Larouche had forged four checks from the company to herself and recorded the excess in vendor payments. The amount forged was $8,395. Police said Larouche admitted to the forgery.