Rutland inmate charged with assaulting guard
By Brent Curtis
STAFF WRITER | June 15,2013
A Rutland inmate with a lengthy criminal history denied a charge of assaulting a law enforcement officer, second offense.
John M. Partch, 41, pleaded innocent Friday in Rutland criminal court to a felony charge of simple assault against a correctional officer, second offense, which carries a potential 11-year jail sentence.
Vermont State Police Detective Todd Wilkins wrote in a statement early in the day Friday that Partch would also be charged as a habitual offender — a classification allowed for anyone convicted previously of at least three felony offenses.
That designation would boost the potential penalty for a conviction on the new charge to a lifetime jail sentence.
But in paperwork provided by Rutland criminal court Friday, there was no mention of a habitual offender charge. Neither Deputy State’s Attorney Kevin Klamm nor State’s Attorney Marc Brierre could be reached for comment late Friday afternoon.
Partch was released on conditions after the court hearing.
The charge against Partch stems from an incident in the Rutland jail on April 17 when he was temporarily imprisoned for violating court-ordered conditions of release on another charge, Wilkins wrote.
While being handcuffed in the jail, Partch allegedly became enraged when he learned he was being transferred to a prison in Springfield. He allegedly spat at corrections officers in the room and then head-butted corrections officer Bryce Taylor.
Taylor told police he felt pain when he was struck but he declined medical treatment and worked through the rest of his shift.
The allegations would constitute the second time that Partch assaulted a law enforcement officer.
In April 2010, Partch kicked a city police officer in the head while he was being arrested for disorderly conduct. He was charged and later convicted of assaulting a law enforcement officer.
During the 2010 incident, Partch repeatedly slammed his head into the back windshield and trunk of a police cruiser and, once he was placed inside, did the same into the cage and window of the cruiser.
At the police department, he repeatedly slammed his head into the pavement and kicked in the door of the police car, doing an estimated $300 in damage to the vehicle, according to court records.