Bennington criminal court roundup

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

Man accused of strangling woman

Dale J. Amidon, 32, of Bennington, pleaded not guilty Monday to first degree aggravated domestic assault. He was arraigned in Rutland and ordered held without bail until a bail hearing. According to an affidavit by Bennington Police, on April 17 at 12:14 a.m. police were summoned to a home in Bennington where a woman said Amidon had assaulted her. She told police he squeezed her neck, cutting off her ability to breath for about 30 seconds. Police located Amidon near Gage Street and School Street and arrested him. He gave a breath sample showing his blood-alcohol content was .047 percent. He stopped answering questions after being asked about driving.

Man accused of abusing woman

Jonathan M. Ruggles, 30, of Manchester, pleaded not guilty on April 12 to first degree aggravated domestic assault with a weapon, second degree aggravated domestic assault with prior conviction, second degree unlawful restraint, and misdemeanor reckless endangerment. He was ordered held without bail. A bail hearing was held on April 13, but a judge has yet to make a final decision.

According to an affidavit by Manchester Police, on April 11 a child reported to school officials that Ruggles had been physically abusing her mother. She said that on one occasion he pointed a gun at her mother.

Police went to Ruggles' home to arrest him. The alleged victim was there. She said several times she would not be giving police a statement or letting them into the house without a warrant. She did, however, turn over a firearm owned by Ruggles. Police said they saw bruises on her arms.

Police spoke to Ruggles who said that while he and the woman argue regularly, it never becomes physical. According to him, the woman bruises easily and gets them when she bumps into things. He said the incident with the gun never happened and that it has been in a closet since deer hunting season. He said the child made the allegations because she wants him away from her mother because the child feels she would have more freedom under that arrangement.

— Staff reports


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