BARRE — A man accused of stabbing someone through the hand during a drug deal at a coin-op laundry has picked up a drug charge and his case is expected to go to trial later this month.
Christopher Anthony Elmer, 35, pleaded not guilty by video Friday in Washington County criminal court in Barre to a misdemeanor count of cocaine possession. He pleaded not guilty last month to a felony count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. If convicted on both counts, Elmer faces a maximum sentence of 16 years in prison. He is currently held without bail at Northeast Correctional Complex in St. Johnsbury.
Alysha M. Wood, 28, pleaded not guilty last month to a felony count of accessory after the fact and misdemeanor counts of cocaine possession and narcotics possession. If convicted, Wood faces a maximum sentence of nine years in prison. She is currently on probation for a drug possession conviction from last year. She is being held by the Department of Corrections at Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility in South Burlington.
Barre City Detective Brieanna Murphy said in her affidavit on May 4 a witness called police to report Elmer had stabbed someone. The victim was taken to Central Vermont Medical Center for treatment, according to the detective.
Murphy spoke to a doctor at the hospital, according to court records, who reported the victim had been stabbed through the right hand. The detective said the victim suffered some damage to the tendons in his hand and had a possible severed artery. She said the doctor told her it would be difficult for such an injury to be self-inflicted.
Murphy said the victim was covered in blood. He told the detective he was supposed to meet Wood at Soap Opera coin-op laundry on South Main Street.
The victim reported Wood got into his vehicle after he pulled up to the laundry, according to court records. Murphy said the victim told her he then saw Elmer approach his vehicle from behind the building and knew something was wrong.
Murphy said the victim reported Elmer was upset with him because an ex-girlfriend of Elmer’s had been flirting with the victim.
The victim reported Elmer reached for him through the driver’s side window and he tried to put up the window. Murphy said the victim reported he didn’t realize he had been stabbed until he saw blood everywhere. He told Murphy he saw Elmer holding a knife, according to court records.
Murphy said Elmer and Wood were found in a vehicle in Montpelier where Wood was driving. She said police found what appeared to be crack cocaine and 34 bags of fentanyl on Wood and she was taken into custody.
Murphy said police obtained a search warrant for the vehicle and it was searched on May 6. Inside, she said police found a clear tube under the passenger’s seat with two white rocks that weighed 0.29 grams and appeared to be crack cocaine. The detective said more suspected crack cocaine was found behind the driver’s seat weighing 1.45 grams.
During Friday’s arraignment, Judge Mary Morrissey asked Washington County State’s Attorney Rory Thibault and attorney Kathy Strahm, who represents Elmer, if there was any chance the two sides could reach a resolution on the case. Strahm said there wasn’t, so the case is headed to trial. Morrissey said because Elmer is being held without bail, his case must go to trial within 60 days of being held, according to state law. Having a trial so quickly had not been possible for much of the past year, but it is possible again with the coronavirus pandemic coming to an end and trials resuming.
A status conference is scheduled for June 17 where any outstanding motions or issues can be addressed, and jury draw for the trial is scheduled for June 22.