BENNINGTON — The parents of a young child face a felony charge after police said they fled last week after the child had been ordered into state custody.
Kimberly J. Robinson, 28, and Guy H. Condo, 43, were both arraigned this week in Vermont Superior Court Criminal Division Bennington Unit. The two Bennington residents each pleaded not guilty Monday to a single felonious charge of custodial interference, and a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest.
Robinson was released on conditions. Condo was released after posting $750 bail.
According to an affidavit by Officer Andrew Hunt with the Bennington Police Department, Robinson's three children had been ordered into state custody by Judge David A. Howard on Friday, Aug. 19 after the Vermont Department for Children and Families filed a petition for emergency care. Two children were taken into custody that evening. Hunt wrote that he learned from family members of those children that Robinson and Condo had fled to New Hampshire with their three-year-old child.
A DCF caseworker was communicating with Robinson via text message. The caseworker told Robinson she needed to cooperate and return to Vermont or else she'd face criminal charges. Robinson became argumentative and said police could arrest her, but they would not get her child.
Hunt spoke with Robinson's sister, who said Robinson was still in Bennington and the child was with Condo.
Hunt wrote in the affidavit that he went to Robinson's sister's home on Saturday. He heard Robinson and the sister through the apartment's front door, although the sister initially denied Robinson was there. When asked about the child's whereabouts, Robinson said she had already told DCF that she didn't have the child. She then said the child was with her father, and that she didn't know.
Hunt then placed Robinson under arrest for custodial interference. He wrote that he had to restrain her. Robinson said if Hunt let her go without charges, she could have Condo bring the child back to Bennington. She argued she couldn't be arrested because Condo took the child. But Hunt said she had assisted in preventing the state from taking the child into custody.
Hunt obtained Condo's cellphone number and contacted the service provider. The phone was eventually determined to be in Windham County and moving west to Bennington, and then in the Depot Street parking lot.
Condo refused to turn the child over to state custody and Hunt arrested him for custodial interference. The child was found nearby in a parked vehicle. Authorities were at first concerned about the child's medical condition, but emergency room staff determined the child was not having a medical emergency.
Robinson will return to court for a calendar call on Aug. 29. A calendar call for Condo is scheduled for Oct. 7.
Contact Ed Damon at 802-447-7567, ext. 111.