Defense seeks knife in city officer assault
By Brent Curtis
A defense attorney for a woman charged with trying to kill a Rutland police officer has asked the judge to compel prosecutors to turn over a knife allegedly used in the attack.
In a three-page motion filed in Rutland criminal court, attorney Daniel Sedon said he has been denied access to the weapon that police say 39-year-old Jennifer Berube used in an attempt to cut the throat of Officer Damon Nguyen on Dec. 27.
Berube pleaded innocent to a charge of attempted murder and remains jailed without bail following the alleged attack which took place inside the booking area of the city’s police department.
Police say Berube used a the blade from a Leatherman multi-tool — a weapon police say wasn’t detected by officers who patted her down when she was arrested on a fraudulent credit card complaint — to carve a 2-inch gash into the right side of Nguyen’s throat while the officer’s back was turned.
Sedon wrote that the knife has been tested for blood and fingerprints by the Vermont Forensic Laboratory where technicians found human blood on the blade but no fingerprints.
In April, Sedon said he sent a request to the Rutland County State’s Attorney’s Office to have the knife and suspected blood returned to the forensics lab for DNA testing.
Sedon wrote that under state law, his client was entitled to use “any state technical services and facilities for the development or evaluation of evidence that are available to the prosecutor.”
But 60 days after submitting that request, Sedon said he’s received no reply.
“The (state’s attorney) has not only failed to respond to the request but has in fact failed to even
acknowledge that the request was made,” he wrote. “The defendant now seeks an order from this court compelling DNA testing of the blood located on the blade of this multi-tool.”
Sedon did not explain what he hoped to find by testing the DNA on the blade and wrote at the end of his motion that “(Berube) maintains that no further showing nor explanation of her position is necessary to avail herself of the statute.”
For the complete story, see Tuesday's Rutland Herald.