Man sentenced for ramming car

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BENNINGTON — A Shaftsbury man has been sentenced to at least 18 months in prison for a car chase last August that ended with a fight at a North Bennington convenience store.

Ryan F. Kinney, 41, was involved in a high speed chase, during which he drove at speeds reaching 80 miles per hour, and used his vehicle to strike another in an attempt to run the car off the road, Deputy State's Attorney Jonathan Ward said.

Kinney pleaded guilty in Vermont Superior Court Bennington Criminal Division on Monday to single felony counts aggravated stalking with a deadly weapon, unlawful mischief greater than $1,000 and escaping custody.

The agreed-upon sentence carried a minimum of 18 months and maximum of five years, which Ward said would give Kinney a substantial amount of supervision when he's released.

Ward said the state's attorney office felt the agreement was a fair compromise, noting that Kinney, who has been held on a furlough violation, has already served a substantial time in prison.

Defense attorney Frederick Bragdon, representing Kinney in court on Monday, said Kinney was eligible for community based supervision under the Department of Corrections.

Vermont State Police were called to the North Bennington Variety Store on Aug. 18, 2016 to assist Bennington Police with a fight taking place there, according to an affidavit. Police spoke to several people involved and learned four people had been at Kinney's residence on Harrington Road in Shaftsbury. An argument started there when Kinney insisted that a relative to him, who was a teenager, not be in the car with the others. The four people, including the relative, left the home.

Kinney followed in his own car, using it to ram the back of the other car, authorities said. At the variety store, Kinney attempted to forcibly remove his family member from the other car, fighting with the other passengers and driver to do so.

Police said Kinney also attempted to kick the door open of the police cruiser he was placed in, causing $2,000 in damage.

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

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