BENNINGTON — A Bennington resident already facing life in prison after allegedly violating court orders to leave two local women alone was once again arrested, this time for attempted murder, stemming from that same incident.
According to court documents, Gregory Stewart, 63, had three open cases against him for violating various court orders. The first incident occurred on Aug. 3, and he is being charged with violating an abuse prevention order for the second time.
On Wednesday, Stewart was arraigned on five new charges, including an attempted murder charge, unlawful restraint with risk of injury, burglary into an occupied dwelling, grand larceny and interference with access to emergency services. The murder charge alone carries a life sentence, with a presumption of a minimum of 20 years behind bars. The other three felonies carry life sentences for Stewart, who is charged as a habitual offender. The misdemeanor, interference with emergency services, carries an additional year if convicted.
According to a court affidavit, police responded to a call on Sept. 27 for a report of a man entering an apartment and attempting to stab the occupant with a kitchen knife. At the time of the incident, the victim in the case had an active abuse prevention order against Stewart.
The victim told police that Stewart, the victim’s next door neighbor, entered his apartment through an unlocked door, very upset and agitated with a female, the victim’s girlfriend. The victim offered Stewart a drink, and Stewart left but returned 20 minutes later through an unlocked door, “in a total rage, foaming at the mouth, holding two kitchen knives.”
Stewart told the victim to shut up and “not to talk.” The victim told police that he was terrified and “scared for his life.”
Stewart then stared out of the apartment window, holding the knives, toward the female’s residence. At one point, the victim alleged that Stewart told him, “He was going to kill someone, and it didn’t matter who.”
At one point, Stewart wrestled with the victim over a cellphone, hitting the victim in the jaw and knocking him to the couch. Stewart then told the victim to call the female, who did not answer, sending Stewart into further rage. Stewart then allegedly tried to strangle and stab the victim while holding the knife up to his face.
“I fought for my life,” the victim told police.
The victim was able to push Stewart off of him and fled the apartment. He returned to find drawers, items scattered on the floor and jewelry missing from an empty jewelry box.
Stewart is a convicted felon in Vermont, New Jersey and New York. He has been convicted of second-degree aggravated assault, terroristic threats and more.
Stewart pleaded not guilty to all of the charges at his arraignment. He is being held without bail at the Marble Valley Regional Correctional Facility in Rutland, pending a weight of evidence hearing.