BARRE — The former Northfield village trustee accused of hitting a female construction worker with his truck in 2009 was back in court Thursday, facing new charges of trying to hit another woman with his truck in November.
Larry Drown, 68, pleaded not guilty to unlawful trespass, negligent operation of a vehicle and reckless endangerment in Washington County criminal court in Barre.
He faces a maximum of two years and three months in prison and a $2,500 fine.
According to the police affidavit, Drown drove onto the site of Martha Mahan’s business, RH Associates and Co., even though a no-trespass order bars him from the property. Her property is next to a road leading to Drown’s.
Mahan started taking pictures of him on her property, and when he saw her taking pictures he aimed his vehicle at her, stepped on the gas and was laughing, according to police.
Mahan told police Drown tried to dismantle a planter box made of railroad ties, using his truck and a cable, after failing to drive over it. Mahan tried to stop him and Drown again tried to hit her with his truck, police said. Mahan told police she had to jump into the planter to avoid being hit and was fearful for her life.
Mahan told police Drown then tried to dismantle the planter again. An employee of Mahan’s came to assist her and stopped Drown from taking the planter box apart, by removing a cable from Drown’s hands, according to the affidavit. Mahan told police Drown then said, “You cannot be here for 24 hours a day.” Drown then left, according to the affidavit.
Police said Drown told them he had been assaulted by one of Mahan’s “bodyguards” when he was trying to drive on his right of way. Police said they saw a small cut on Drown’s left thumb but no other obvious injuries.
Drown was released without bail.
In the 2009 incident, Drown is accused of intentionally hitting a flagger when she was temporarily not allowing traffic through because of a construction project in Northfield. Drown faces charges of reckless or gross negligent operation of a vehicle, aggravated assault with a weapon, leaving the scene of a crash with property damage resulting, and reckless endangerment.
The case was close to going to trial in July, but Drown had to be taken to the hospital after he “threw himself down on the floor” in the courtroom, as the judge put it. That case is scheduled for a competency hearing in April.
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