Police say Bristol man fired shotgun into ceiling
MIDDLEBURY — A Bristol man on Tuesday pleaded innocent in Chittenden Superior Court, criminal division, to a felony count of first-degree aggravated domestic assault with a weapon and a misdemeanor count of reckless endangerment, in connection with a Monday incident during which he allegedly struck a woman after firing a shotgun blast into the ceiling of his home.
Ronald Berry, 53, faces up to 15 years in jail and/or a fine of up to $25,000 if convicted on the felony charge, and up to a year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine if convicted on the misdemeanor charge, according to state statutes.
At around 5:45 p.m. on Monday Vermont State Police were asked to respond to a report of a family fight at a home on Harvey Road in Bristol, according to court records. Police would later learn that Berry had allegedly threatened a woman with a firearm and had struck her four times on the side of the face, according to an affidavit prepared by investigating VSP Trooper Joseph Szarejko.
The victim told authorities that she and Berry had been arguing that evening. During the course of that argument, Berry allegedly pointed what police described as a Stevens Model 94 12-gauge shotgun at the right side of the victim’s head “so that the barrel was touching her,” according to Szarejko’s affidavit.
Berry then allegedly pointed the shotgun at the ceiling and fired a shot that went through the ceiling, according to court records. Authorities photographed the hole and found a spent shotgun shell on the floor, according to Szarejko.
After the shot was fired, Berry allegedly struck the victim four times on her right cheek causing minor injuries, according to VSP reports.
Berry allegedly told investigating troopers that he had been handling the shotgun because “he was feeling suicidal” and he denied having assaulted the victim, according to court records.
State police took Berry into custody and Addison Superior Court Judge Robert Mello ordered him held at the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility on $10,000 bail pending his arraignment on Tuesday, according to court records.
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