Brattleboro man found guilty of assault

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BRATTLEBORO — A local man with a history of violent behavior was convicted of first degree aggravated domestic assault and interfering with access to emergency services.

A jury found Dennis Emerson, 57, of Brattleboro, guilty of those two charges Wednesday in Windham Superior Court, Criminal Division. The jury acquitted him of second degree aggravated domestic assault.

"What's notable is it's his fourth conviction for assaulting the same woman," said Windham County State's Attorney Tracy Shriver.

The Brattleboro Police Department responded to a report of an assault on Feb. 26, 2016, according to an affidavit of probable cause. The victim told police about an argument in which Emerson wrapped the cord of a vacuum cleaner around her neck and threatened to kill her.

When the victim tried to call police, Emerson grabbed the phone away from her "and in the end the phone had gone flying out of her grip," according to the affidavit.

"Emerson told us that they had argued about his vacuuming, and that he had gotten frustrated with her nagging him, and had put the vacuum cord around her neck," police wrote.

Injuries were observed by police. The victim told police the incident was part of an ongoing pattern of abuse: Emerson had slapped her face, tried to push her down stairs and broke doors. Her daughter, 22, said she had witnessed some of these incidents.

Both women testified at the trial, Shriver said. At the time of the interview, she had not yet received a notice about scheduling for a sentencing hearing. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 15 years for the assault and one year for interfering with emergency services.

Reach staff writer Chris Mays at cmays@reformer.com, at @CMaysBR on Twitter and 802-254-2311, ext. 273.

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