BARRE — A Montpelier man was arraigned on a felony charge of first-degree aggravated domestic assault this week after allegedly strangling a woman he knew.
Jeffrey Butterfield, 32, pleaded not guilty to the charge, which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in jail or a fine of $25,000, or both.
He was released, ordered to have no contact with the victim, and must appear again in court July 18.
According to an affidavit, Montpelier Police Officer Samuel Lambert reported at 3:05 a.m. on June 30 to a home on Berlin Street.
“The female (at the address) reported she was strangled,” the affidavit stated.
The woman indicated Butterfield became confrontational at a bar, and that she walked home and went to bed, the affidavit stated.
Butterfield returned later, turned on the bedroom light and started yelling at the woman, the affidavit stated.
“She stated that [Butterfield] grabbed her by the throat and applied pressure,” the affidavit stated, adding that the woman indicated the pain was a 4 on a scale of 1 to 10, and the pressure applied to her neck restricted her airway for five to seven seconds while Butterfield held her down on the bed.
“She stated she strangled him back to defend herself. I noted red marks on her neck consistent with the size of a male adult thumb,” the officer’s affidavit noted.
Lambert said attempts to speak to Butterfield on-scene were unproductive, and he would only state the woman had choked him and that he had called the police.
Butterfield asked to speak to Officer Christopher Quesnel, who was assisting in processing the arrest, the affidavit stated. He told Quesnel the woman choked him in an unprovoked attack.
When pressed about the altercation and for an explanation about the marks on the woman’s neck, Butterfield stated he “didn’t do anything” and denied “placing his hands” on the woman, the affidavit stated.
Butterfield was taken into custody, charged with domestic assault and lodged at Barre City Police lockup for lack of $20,000 bail.
In a follow-up interview with the woman, she provided a sworn statement confirming the details of the incident, which were consistent with her account provided at the scene, the affidavit stated.
Two witnesses said they had seen Butterfield and a woman at a local bar before the incident but neither noticed any confrontation or noticeable tension between them, the affidavit stated.