Man gets two years in jail for domestic assaults
By Patrick McArdle
STAFF WRITER | March 09,2013
BENNINGTON — A McCall Street man received a sentence of two to four years in prison after he pleaded guilty Wednesday to two felony domestic assault charges based on two incidents that took place about a month apart last year.
Quondell Knight, 25, of Bennington, was arraigned in Bennington criminal court Nov. 5 on three felony counts, two charges of second-degree aggravated domestic assault and a charge of first-degree aggravated domestic assault with a weapon. On Dec. 13, Knight was arraigned in the same court on a felony count of second-degree aggravated domestic assault, a misdemeanor charge of cruelty to a child younger than 10, and two misdemeanor charges of violating the conditions of his release from custody.
As part of a plea agreement, Knight pleaded guilty Wednesday to a felony charge of first-degree aggravated domestic assault with a weapon, from the first set of charges, and second-degree aggravated domestic assault from the second set of charges.
Knight was sentenced to serve one to two years in prison on both charges by Judge Karen Carroll. The sentences are to be served consecutively.
The state dismissed the remaining charges as part of the plea agreement.
Police said Knight assaulted a woman Nov. 2 at a home on East Arlington Road in Arlington. The woman told police that during an extended incident, Knight brandished a knife at her and made “stabbing motions.”
Police said the woman told them she was frightened because he was holding a knife and she didn’t know what he was going to do with it.
When Knight was taken into custody based on the woman’s report, he admitted that he was playing with the knife in front of her but denied threatening her or assaulting her with the knife.
The state requested that Knight be held without bail at his arraignment Nov. 5 but the request was denied and Judge Cortland Corsones released him after a hearing Nov. 16. Knight was not required to post bail but was ordered not to have contact with the woman or her children.
Knight had pleaded guilty to a domestic assault charge in 2010 in which the same woman was the victim.
Less than a month later, Knight was accused of having contact with the woman and her children, to whom he is related.
On Dec. 5, police received a report from a woman who said Knight had assaulted her grandchild. Knight was forbidden, by court order, from having contact with the child but Trooper Justin Walker, of the Vermont State Police, said the 4-year-old child said during an interview that Knight “popped me in the mouth because I was bad in school” on Dec. 4.
Corsones set a bail of $10,000 on Dec. 20 but the state appealed his decision, citing, in part, Corsones’ finding that the child’s statement was “ambiguous” because of the child’s age. The Vermont Supreme Court ruled that Corsones’ statement meant he was taking on the role of “factfinder” in assessing credibility.
The case was sent back and on Jan. 17, Corsones amended his decision and ordered Knight held without bail.