Man pleads not guilty to assaulting neighbor

Thursday February 21, 2013


Staff Writer

BENNINGTON -- A Pleasant Street man is being held for lack of $5,000 bail after he pleaded not guilty Wednesday to allegedly entering a neighbor’s home uninvited, punching a woman, and making threats.

James Davenport, 53, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a felony charge of unlawful trespass, aggravated assault, and simple assault. He was arraigned in Rutland but his case is being processed in Bennington County Superior Court Criminal Division. Court records listed his address as being in Sheldon, but police said he was living on Pleasant Street when they responded to an incident allegedly involving him on Tuesday.

According to an affidavit by Bennington Police Sgt. Michael Plusch, on Tuesday shortly before 7 p.m. he and other officers responded to Pleasant Street for a dispute between neighbors. Plusch wrote that he spoken to Latisha Burdick who said she was eating dinner with her family when Davenport entered their apartment uninvited, yelling about selling a television so he could purchase crack cocaine. Davenport began making threats, she told police, and did not leave when asked. Burdick said she, her husband Joseph Burdick, and Chalissa Shakir were able to escort Davenport outside as he threatened to shoot her with a gun.

At that point Latisha Burdick said that Davenport punched her in the face and then tried to hit her with a broken shovel, but her husband was able to intervene.

Plusch wrote that Joseph Burdick agreed with his wife’s account, and he spoke to a passerby, Cody Robitille, who said he saw a male hit a woman in the face. He said he was not able to find Shakir.

Davenport was found by police on the porch of his own apartment holding a pipe and shouting threats. Davenport accused Burdick of being a drug dealer and said his plan had been to buy drugs from her and turn her in to police. He admitted to hitting her, police said. According to the affidavit, Davenport’s blood-alcohol content was .134 percent when he submitted a breath sample at 9 p.m.

Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at or follow him on Twitter @KWhitcombjr


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