Alleged Vergennes assailant held without bail

VERGENNES — The Burlington man allegedly responsible for what Vergennes Police Chief George Merkel described as a “horrific” domestic assault has twice been denied bail in court appearances in Middlebury in the past two weeks.
Police allege Robert McFev, 53, of Church Street, Burlington, assaulted a Vergennes woman in a Green Street apartment on May 25.
According to Merkel, Vergennes Police Officer Jill Harter, acting alone on that Saturday before Vermont State Police backup could arrive, subdued the much larger alleged assailant by using a Tazer, and by doing so possibly saved the victim’s life. Harter had responded to a 911 call from the victim’s teenage son, according to court documents.
Merkel said it was the first time an officer in his department had deployed a Tazer since he became chief. 
The woman was hospitalized in the UVM Medical Center in Burlington and was originally listed in serious, but stable, condition, with — according to court documents — a broken eye socket, a broken nose, broken teeth, broken wrist, broken hand, and severe facial cuts requiring multiple stiches. According to Merkel she was released this past weekend, but had to be readmitted for more treatment.
At a May 28 arraignment in Addison County Superior Court’s Criminal Division in Middlebury, McFev pleaded innocent to charges of first degree aggravated domestic assault and burglary, for allegedly entering the victim’s apartment with the intent of committing a crime. Vergennes police originally also cited him for committing the assault in front of a minor, the woman’s son, but prosecutors did not forward that charge.
McFev was denied bail at the arraignment and ordered held at the Marble Valley Regional Correctional Facility. At a Weight of Evidence hearing this Monday in court in Middlebury, Judge Alison Arms again denied McFev bail, and this time he was lodged at the Northwest Correctional Facility in St. Albans.
The next court appearance for McFev will be a status conference on July 1. At the Weight of Evidence hearing Arms granted McFev’s attorney’s request that McFev’s competency and sanity be evaluated.
The Independent cannot report on whether McFev has a criminal history because of a new Vermont court policy not to provide to members of the public or media such information in public court files. The Vermont Press Association is protesting that policy.

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