BENNINGTON — A man on probation for assault is accused of stabbing another man in the neck in a dispute over $10.
Christopher J. Hope, 34, of Bennington, pleaded not guilty Monday in Vermont Superior Court Criminal Division Bennington Unit to two felony counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He was ordered held without bail until a weight of the evidence hearing where a judge will determine what, if any, conditions or bail can be placed upon him to ensure future court appearances and public safety.
According to an affidavit by Bennington Police Officer Andrew Hunt, on Sunday at 4:36 p.m. it was reported to police that two people at a Pleasant Street address had been stabbed. Police arrived and found a male with a cut on his neck and a woman with a cut on her finger. They gave police the knife they said was used in the attack.
The male told police that he owed Hope $7. He referred to Hope as "Blue," a name Hope goes by, and said that Hope showed up at his door and threatened him with a knife. The male tackled Hope and was stabbed. Hope then got up and ran off.
Three witnesses told a similar story, including the woman who got her finger cut getting between the male and Hope.
Police found Hope nearby on Pleasant Street and he told them that he had gone to the male's apartment to buy $10 worth of marijuana from a woman there. He waited several hours, then saw two people leave the apartment. Upon their return, they told him he would not be getting his marijuana, nor his money back. Hope said he then went to the apartment to request his money back from the male's mother, then the male answered the door holding a knife. He dropped the knife, then tackled Hope, ripping his shirt and breaking his necklace chain. At some point in the fight, the male picked up a shard of glass and attacked Hope with it.
When asked how the other two people got cut, Hope said it was likely from the glass. He denied having a knife.
The people at the male's house gave police a glass shard, saying Hope had picked it up during the fight.
Hope was placed on probation Sept. 1. after pleading guilty to aggravated assault, and no contest to using a weapon in the commission of a crime. He was given a one to five year sentence, all suspended.
— Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at 802-447-7567 Ext. 115.