A Pearl Street man is being held without bail after police said he assaulted and threatened a woman he knew because she was involved with another man.
Edwin Rodriguez, 43, pleaded not guilty Thursday in Rutland criminal court to one felony count of first-degree aggravated domestic assault, one felony count of first-degree aggravated domestic assault modified because he has been convicted of aggravated domestic assault before, and one misdemeanor count of violating court-ordered conditions of release.
Both felony charges were modified so Rodriguez could be charged as a habitual offender, a sentencing enhancement available if a defendant has been convicted of three or more felonies. If convicted as a habitual offender, Rodriguez could be sentenced to up to life in prison.
For Rodriguez, the previous convictions were for kidnapping, first-degree aggravated domestic assault, burglary and aggravated assault with a weapon.
During the arraignment, attorney Christopher Davis, who represented Rodriguez, did not object to the state’s request to hold his client without bail but asked for a hearing to determine if conditions could be imposed that would allow Rodriguez the opportunity to be released prior to the charges being resolved.
In an affidavit, Richard Caravaggio, a probationary police officer with the Rutland City Police Department, said a woman had come to the city’s police station on Monday “visibly distraught and requesting help.”
Caravaggio said the woman had visible injuries and her clothing and shoes had dirt and blood on them.
The woman said she had been abused multiple times by Rodriguez but hadn’t reported it. She said they had a relationship that had lasted more than 20 years but she ended it about 8 months before.
She told police he had contacted her Monday and said he had money to help with her bills, but she said when she got to his home, he asked her if she had a new relationship. She said she told him she did, and he “immediately started beating her.”
“The beating lasted for 10 to 15 minutes. He punched her repeatedly, pulled her hair, strangled her and beat her head off of the refrigerator, cupboards and stove,” Caravaggio wrote in the affidavit.
The woman told police she was able to get outside the house. She said Rodriguez attempted to drag her back inside. She resisted, according to the affidavit, and Rodriguez “suddenly sat down on the front step and told her she could leave.”
During an interview at Rutland Regional Medical Center, the woman told Caravaggio that Rodriguez had choked her and threatened to kill her.
She said she tried to tell Rodriguez their relationship was over “but he refused to accept it and stated that it wasn’t over because he didn’t say so.”
A supplemental affidavit, written by Rutland City Police Detective Ryan Ashe, said Vermont State Police had passed along information from an unidentified person on Wednesday who claimed Rodriguez had been trying to buy a gun “with the intent to kill the (woman) and her new boyfriend.”
Police were unable to find Rodriguez initially but a State Police statement said a trooper spotted him Wednesday when he was a passenger in a vehicle parked at the Mobil gas station on Route 7 in Pittsford.
Rodriguez was taken into custody without incident, the statement said.
According to the Vermont Department of Corrections’ online inmate locator, Rodriguez was being held at the Springfield jail as of Friday evening.
This article has been updated to correct the spelling of the street name.