Man faces 25 years for car chase, threats

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BENNINGTON — A local man faces up to 25 years in prison after he admitted to charges stemming from a high-speed car chase a year ago, during which he struck and killed a deer and brandished a knife when officers arrested him.

Timothy S. Harrington, 30, has been detained since being arraigned last October on 12 charges.

Harrington pleaded guilty before Judge David A. Howard in Vermont Superior Court Bennington Criminal Division on Thursday to felony violating an abuse-prevention order second offense, driving to eluding police, impeding a public officer (two counts), and being a felon in possession of a weapon while committing a crime.

Under a plea agreement with prosecutors, the state would dismiss misdemeanor counts of reckless driving, reckless endangerment, resisting arrest and driving at excessive speeds when Harrington is sentenced. Under the agreement, the state would cap its argument for sentencing at 25 years in prison.

Harrington is scheduled to be sentenced in the same court on Nov. 3.

Plunkett told Howard that the court should schedule an hour-and-a-half for the contested sentencing hearing.

The felony charges carried habitual offender enhancements because of Harrington's criminal history, which includes three felony operating a vehicle without owner's consent in 2005.

A Bennington police officer tried to pull over a truck on County Street on Oct. 11 because the driver didn't use a turn signal, according to a court affidavit. He learned Harrington's license had been suspended for multiple violations and ordered him to pull into a parking lot.

Police said Harrington sped away, reaching 55 miles per hour on Benmont Avenue, where the posted limit is 30, and on Bank Street he was driving 65 in a 25 mph zone.

Harrington headed towards New York State and hit a deer at what an officer estimated was 90 mph.

The officer ended the pursuit, but later heard from a woman who said Harrington had contacted her in violation of a court abuse-prevention order. She said Harrington sent her text messages and threatened to kill her, two other women and also himself.

Harrington was located in a Bennington apartment a day later, as officers found him hiding in a closet. When Harrington came out of the closet, he had a knife that an officer knocked out of his hands.

A charge of violating an abuse prevention order was filed after Harrington sent the same woman threatening text messages. Police said Harrington contacted the woman in September.

Reach staff writer Edward Damon at 802-447-7567, ext. 111 or @edamon_banner.

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