Bennington court in brief
- Christian S. James, 26, of Manchester pleaded not guilty to felony gross negligent vehicle operation resulting in fatality. He was released with conditions and will return to court on Dec. 20. The charge stems from a Sept. 24 crash on Route 7A in Manchester. According to a court affidavit by Vermont State Police, James was traveling north at about 70 mph when the SUV he was driving struck a southbound SUV being driven by Jason T. Baumes. Baumes, 30, of North Bennington was killed in the crash. On Oct. 23, James pleaded not guilty in the same court to felony driving under the influence resulting in a fatality, and operating a vehicle above the legal limit resulting in a fatality.
- Avery C. Ford, 24, of Bennington pleaded not guilty to felony aggravated assault. He was released with conditions on a $25,000 surety bond and will return to court on Dec. 20. The charges stem from an alleged offense on Sept. 23 that was investigated by Bennington police.
- Carlos J. Vazquez Jr., 44, of Shaftsbury pleaded guilty to a felony count of escaping custody-furlough. He was sentenced to serve six months to six months and one day, with credit for time served since Oct. 4, and concurrent to his existing sentence. The charge stems from an Aug. 9 offense investigated by the Bennington Probation Department. According to a court affidavit, Vazquez was identified during a traffic stop in New York state by authorities there, in violation of his furlough. The case was prosecuted by Deputy State's Attorney Robert Plunkett.
- Kelly H. George, 34, of Bennington pleaded guilty to misdemeanor reckless endangerment. She was given a three-to-six month suspended sentence with eight months of probation. The charge stems from a June 17 offense investigated by Bennington police. According to a court affidavit, George left two young children alone overnight. Attorney Kate Lamson, representing George, said she has worked hard to follow conditions and counseling requirements. The case was prosecuted by Deputy State's Attorney John Lurvey. Under a plea agreement, a felony count of child endangerment was dismissed.
Ed Damon can be reached at email@example.com, at @edamon_banner on Twitter and 802-447-7567, ext. 111.
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