A West Rutland man is facing criminal charges after he allegedly slapped his stepfather during an argument on Monday.

Ryan M. McNamara, 34, of West Rutland, pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Rutland criminal court to one misdemeanor count each of domestic assault and unlawful mischief. He was released without bail.

“Not very well,” McNamara said when Zonay asked him how he was. “You can read in it (the affidavit), there are some lies being told.”

McNamara represented himself Tuesday. Judge Thomas Zonay asked McNamara to consider allowing a public defender to represent him instead because an attorney appointed by the state would have skills McNamara doesn’t have.

“I’m skilled enough,” McNamara said. “I hate to say it, but I’ve done enough time ... I am skilled enough to be my own attorney.”

Zonay asked McNamara to explain the discovery obligation about witness information he has to the Rutland County State’s Attorney’s Office. After McNamara answered, Zonay said McNamara’s “belief as the way it works is not accurate.”

McNamara said he was willing to “cop out” to disorderly conduct but not a listed assault charge.

He told Zonay he would hire an attorney but would not allow himself to be represented by a public defender.

According to an affidavit filed in the case by Rutland County Sheriff’s Deputy Daniel Pennington, John Buck, 64, had reported to police that McNamara, his stepson, had assaulted him.

Pennington said he spoke with McNamara at Buck’s Main Street home in West Rutland around 1 p.m. Monday.

“McNamara was visibly agitated and upset. He was pacing and moving around despite being told to keep hands visible and to stand still and chill out,” Pennington wrote.

According to the affidavit, McNamara said he told Buck he wanted to leave Buck’s home and get a hotel room, but Buck wouldn’t give him his money or food benefits.

Buck told police the benefits for McNamara were in the mail and hadn’t arrived yet.

Pennington said McNamara admitted to slapping Buck and breaking a window at the home.

According to Pennington, McNamara was under an order not to trespass at Buck’s home but police didn’t charge him because Buck had invited McNamara to the home so he wouldn’t be “on the street in cold weather.”

During the incident, McNamara allegedly mentioned pending criminal charges in Massachusetts. Pennington said the sheriff’s department checked into the claims and found McNamara was charged with cocaine possession on Dec. 31 and breaking and entering into a vehicle on Jan. 7.

McNamara was bailed out by Buck, the affidavit said.

During his Tuesday arraignment, McNamara was asked if Buck would be allowed to drive him to a home where he could stay. Zonay told McNamara he was ordered not to have contact with Buck and doing so could lead to another criminal charge.

McNamara was given until Feb. 4 to tell the court whether he had hired an attorney.



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