Bennington criminal court roundup


BENNINGTON >> The following cases were heard recently in Vermont Superior Court Criminal Division Bennington Unit.

Man held for allegedly attacking woman

Michael R. Petruzzi, 32, of Winhall, pleaded not guilty March 30 to second degree aggravated domestic assault, felony unlawful restraint, and misdemeanor interfering with access to emergency services. He was ordered held without bail until a weight of the evidence hearing scheduled for April 7.

According to Winhall Police, on March 28 a woman reported that Petruzzi assaulted her after reading text messages on her phone. Police sought to question Petruzzi, but could not locate him. It's not clear how he came to be in court.

Man held for lack of bail on multiple charges

On March 31, Robert E. Bessette, 22, of Bennington, pleaded not guilty to felony counts of second degree aggravated domestic assault, unlawful mischief, first degree aggravated domestic assault, and misdemeanor counts of interference with access to emergency services, and possession of a narcotic. He was placed under $2,500 bail and not allowed contact with the woman he is accused of assaulting.

According to Manchester Police, on March 30 a woman accused Bessette of shoving her around and breaking her computer. She said he has strangled her in the past.

Also on March 31, he pleaded not guilty to a felony count of negligent vehicle operation while eluding police, misdemeanor careless or negligent vehicle operation, and violating release conditions. Those charges stem from a March 11 incident when, according to Manchester Police, an officer attempted to pull him over while he was operating a motorcycle and committed a traffic violation. Bessette fled police, speeding and breaking more traffic laws. Police lost sight of him for a time, then came across some skid marks in the road and Bessette attempting to kickstart the motorcycle. Police grabbed him and he was taken into custody.

At the time, Bessette was prohibited from driving a vehicle because he had been under release conditions, which he was placed under after pleading not guilty on Dec. 7 to a first offense of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Sex offender accused of not listing address

Jad M. Hoag, 38, pleaded not guilty March 21 to a felony count of failing to comply with the Sex Offender Registry. He was released under conditions.

According to an affidavit by Bennington Police, on March 5 police were notified by Hoag's mother that he had been living for several months at an address different from the one he provided to the Sex Offender Registry. Police went to the address she said he had been living at and arrested him there. He declined to speak with police. According to the affidavit, he was convicted of lewd and lascivious conduct on Sept. 28, 2012, in Chittenden County.

— Staff reports


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