Taylor A. Morse

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BRATTLEBORO — A Brookline man accused of breaking a woman’s nose was released into the custody of his mother and ordered not to come into contact with the alleged victim and her children.

On March 12, at just past 8 p.m., troopers with the Vermont State Police responded to Grace Cottage Hospital for the report of a domestic assault.

The alleged victim told Trooper James Conway that she and Taylor A. Morse, 37, got into an argument at her home in Brookline when he lost control and physically assaulted her.

According to a hospital report, the woman suffered a broken nose, a punch to the head, and bruising on her back, and arms.

Both of her children were present during the incident, wrote Conway.

The woman said Morse also twisted her fingers and pulled her to the ground by her hair.

“He then held her on the ground and punched her in the face and nose at least three times with a closed fist,” wrote Conway. “Additionally, [she] stated that he threw her down on a table that broke in half. [Morse] then put his right arm around [her] neck while pulling her hair with the other and began strangling her, only stopping because [she] was able to fight her way out.”

“He wanted to cause as much pain as possible and didn’t care if the kids watched,” the woman told troopers.

As a result, Morse was cited with first-degree aggravated domestic assault and domestice assault and held pending arraignment on Wednesday.

During the court proceeding, Deputy State’s Attorney David Gartenstein said Morse should be held without bail pending a weight of the evidence hearing given “the violent nature of the offense.”

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He said the injured woman will require surgery as a result of the incident.

“We don’t think any conditions can protect the public,” said Gartenstein.

Morse’s attorney, Aimee Goddard, of Annis & Goddard in Brattleboro, argued holding her client without bail was not appropriate, given his last encounter with police was in 2018 and those charges were dropped.

“He doesn’t have any previous criminal history,” said Goddard.

She said if her client remains in jail, he could lose the job that allows him to provide health insurance for the children and to pay the mortgage on their house.

“He’s worked there for 10 years,” said Goddard. “He’s lived in Vermont all his life ... [T]here are conditions that would keep the community safe.”

Windham Superior Court Judge Katherine Hayes said she had an opportunity to see the complaining witness on Wednesday morning.

“The injuries are pretty extreme,” she said.

“He’d be willing to abide by curfew [and] whatever conditions the court views as necessary,” said Goddard. “If there’s no reason for the parties to be in contact then I don’t see that there will be any issues.”

Despite her concerns over the woman’s injuries, Hayes released Morse “in light of his relatively little criminal record and the lack of prior assaultive conduct.”

Bob Audette can be contacted at