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Monkton man charged in domestic assault case

MIDDLEBURY — A Monkton man on April 8 pleaded innocent in Addison Superior Court, criminal division, to a felony charge of aggravated domestic assault with a deadly weapon and a misdemeanor charge of interfering with access to emergency services, after he allegedly brandished a firearm while making threats during a domestic dispute at a Mountain Road home on April 7.
If convicted, Paul C. Birchmore, 42, faces up to 15 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $25,000 for the aggravated domestic assault charge, and a jail term of up to one year and/or a fine of up to $5,000 on the interference with access to emergency services charge.
It was at 5:21 p.m. on April 7 that Vermont State Police Trooper Cari Crick was dispatched to a Mountain Road home on a report of an “active domestic involving a firearm,” according to court records.
Crick met with the victim and her parents; Birchmore had left the scene, according to Crick’s court affidavit.
The victim alleged to police that Birchmore had recently sold a muzzleloader for some drugs.
“She explained she could tell he was on drugs because he was cleaning the house and very happy,” Crick’s affidavit states.
The victim alleged that she and Birchmore had started arguing that morning because she was concerned that he was going to take more medication than he had been prescribed. That afternoon, they had again argued after the victim told Birchmore she wanted to drive alone to Hinesburg, according to court records. The argument escalated when Birchmore cut up a jointly held electronic debit card, according to the affidavit.
“(The victim) told him that he could not treat her like that and if it continued, she would call the cops,” the affidavit states. “(The victim) said (Birchmore) then wrapped the phone cord and pulled it out of the wall.”
A family member called the victim during the argument and offered to call police, if she could not, according to court records. After taking that call, the victim said she heard a noise coming from the gun rack in the home and “knew he was getting the gun off the wall,” Crick’s affidavit states.
The victim encountered Birchmore in the kitchen and alleged he was carrying a gun — described by authorities as a “long gun” — and bullets, according to court records.
“She said she asked him if he was going to shoot her and he said no, it would be better if he took care of everyone she knows, because that would hurt her more,” Crick’s affidavit states. The victim believed that Birchmore might first target her father, who at this point was en route to the home, according to court records.
“When (the victim) said she was calling police, Birchmore responded good, he would shoot them too,” Crick’s affidavit reads.
“She said she knows what (Birchmore) is like when he does drugs and he will do anything,” the affidavit added. “(The victim) said a year ago (she and Birchmore) were driving together and got into an argument and he said he would just crash the car and finish them both.”
Police interviewed the victim’s father, who reported encountering Birchmore that evening outside the home.
“He said Birchmore was crying and upset and picked up the gun which was on his passenger seat (of his vehicle),” according to Crick’s investigation. “He said Birchmore showed him the butt of the gun and said (the victim) doesn’t want him anymore and she called the cops on him and he was ready for whatever happens.”
Meanwhile, the victim went to the state police barracks in New Haven to pick up a temporary restraining order on Birchmore, according to court records. At the same time, police said they received information indicating that Birchmore had traveled to Richmond and eventually ended up at a Huntington residence, where he had allegedly made some “suicidal statements.”
“Prior to police arrival, Birchmore left and was ultimately located in his vehicle on Main Road, Huntington,” according to court records. “During the course of him being taken into custody, Birchmore was non-compliant and a Hinesburg Police Department officer deployed a taser.”
Birchmore was lodged at the Chittenden County Correctional Center that evening on $15,000 bail prior to his court arraignment the next day, April 8.

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