Bennington court in brief

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BENNINGTON — Cases heard recently in Vermont Superior Court Bennington criminal division:

Before Judge David A. Howard

Monday, Jan. 22

- Courtney A. Callanan, 26, of Bennington pleaded not guilty to felony embezzlement—more than $100. She was released with conditions and will return to court on March 9. It is alleged that Callanan made fraudulent charges and cash withdrawals, totaling about $6,089, from the bank account of the Lil' Peeps Preschool in Shaftsbury while employed there between April and December 2017. Investigated by Vermont State Police, Shaftsbury.

- John H. Royce, 44, of Danby pleaded not guilty to felony forgery and misdemeanor false pretense (three counts). He was ordered held on $10,000 bail and will return to court on March 2. It's alleged that Royce engaged in fraudulent activity with three checks and forged one check, totaling $1,175, in June and July 2011. The charges carry a habitual offender enhancement because Royce has been convicted of three or more felonies. Investigated by Vermont State Police, Shaftsbury.

- Karl Toccaline, 25, of Bristol, Conn. pleaded not guilty to felony home improvement fraud. He was released with conditions and will return to court on March 9. It's alleged that Toccaline failed to perform in October and November on a $1,100 contract for interior home painting. Investigated by Bennington police.

Wednesday, Jan. 24

- Kevin G. Demars, 60, of Rutland pleaded not guilty to felony obstructing justice, and misdemeanor stalking (two counts) and disturbing the peace by phone (two counts). He was ordered held without bail pending a weight of evidence hearing. The court ordered inpatient psychiatric and competency evaluations. It's alleged that Demars threatened and left threatening voice mails to staff at the Rutland County State's Attorney's Office between 2015 and 2018. Investigated by Rutland City police.

- Spencer E. Morse, 21, of Bennington pleaded not guilty to felony first degree aggravated domestic assault and misdemeanor domestic assault. He was ordered held without bail pending a weight of evidence hearing on Jan. 31. It's alleged that Morse assaulted a woman he knew in Pownal on Saturday. Investigated by Vermont State Police, Shaftsbury.

- Michael S. Thomas, 55, of Bennington was found guilty by jury trial on felony aggravated sexual assault and lewd and lascivious conduct with a child, and misdemeanor domestic assault. Presentence investigation report with psycho-sexual evaluation will be conducted by DOC and is due March 26. Thomas is being held in Rutland prison. It's alleged that Thomas engaged in sexual contact with a minor in 2012. Investigated by Vermont State Police, Shaftsbury. Prosecuted by Deputy State's Attorney Alexander Burke. Thomas was represented by T. Lamar Enzor.

Thursday, Jan. 25

- Timothy J. Green, 24, of North Bennington pleaded not guilty to felony first degree aggravated domestic assault (three counts), and misdemeanor unlawful mischief and violating release conditions. He was ordered held without bail pending a weight of evidence hearing on Jan. 31. It's alleged that Green assaulted a woman he knew in North Bennington on Jan. 24. Investigated by Bennington police.

Friday, Jan. 26

- Traci M. Becker, 55, of Bennington pleaded guilty to felony driving under the influence, fourth offense. She received a two-to-four year suspended sentence with probation, with 30 days to serve and 30 days credit for inpatient rehabilitation. Bennington police said they pulled Becker over while she was driving on Monument Avenue on May 14 and found she was under the influence. Under a plea agreement, the state dismissed misdemeanor vehicle operation with a license suspended for DUI, second offense, and excessive speed. Prosecuted by Deputy State's Attorney Jonathan Ward. Becker was represented by David Silver.




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