Woman accused of ramming Bennington police cruiser pleads guilty

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BENNINGTON — A woman accused of ramming a police cruiser as she tried to flee law enforcement has pleaded guilty to three felonies.

Kerrie Kelly, 28, of Bennington, pleaded guilty in April to two counts of aggravated assault with a weapon and one count of unlawful trespass of an occupied residence under a deal with prosecutors.

Each count of her assault violation carries a maximum prison sentence of 15 years; the unlawful trespass, up to three years. She is scheduled for sentencing June 26 in Bennington Superior criminal court, according to court records.

Kelly was charged Aug. 29 after Bennington police said she tried to flee from officers who responded to a call about an ongoing domestic assault, where a woman struck a man. When police arrived at the home on Park Street that afternoon, Kelly reportedly began running away and jumped into a car.

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Police said an officer tried to stop her from driving away, but Kelly began accelerating while the officer was partially inside the car. She apparently rammed a police cruiser three times while trying to get away, and officers had to jump out of the way so as not to get hit.

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Police described her as repeatedly screaming, "F---ing kill me." The officers said they decided not to fire their weapons because there were children and adults around — the area was located near Bennington Elementary School.

Police said Kelly sped east on Main Street, going more than twice the 30 mph posted speed limit, and entered a house whose residents she didn't know. There she reportedly resisted arrest, and once placed inside a police cruiser was pepper-sprayed when she appeared to be kicking out the vehicle's back window.

Bennington police said she caused approximately $10,000 worth of damage to the cruiser she had rammed.

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She has since been detained at Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility in South Burlington. She changed her plea before Judge John Valente, of Bennington Superior Court, on April 21.

Before Kelly signed a plea deal, she had been facing four other charges: another count of aggravated assault with a weapon, grossly negligent vehicle operation, resisting arrest and leaving the scene of a crash after causing property damage.

Contact Tiffany Tan at ttan@benningtonbanner.com or @tiffgtan on Facebook and Twitter.


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