Andover Vermont couple charged in connection with alleged hammer attack upon a pregnant woman
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION - A couple from the sparsely populated southern Vermont town of Andover have been charged in connection with an alleged hammer attack upon a pregnant woman who visited their home in July.
Harvey Parker, 43, pleaded innocent to felony counts of aggravated assault and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and his girlfriend Tammy Riley, 44, pleaded innocent to a misdemeanor count of providing false information to police.
Parker would normally face a potential penalty of up to 20 years in prison on the charges but prosecutors also filed a habitual offender petition against him which means that under Vermont’s so-called “four strikes and you’re out” law Parker could face enhanced penalties of up to life in prison if he were to be convicted of either of the assault charges now pending against him.
Following their arraignments this past week Parker and Riley were both released on pre-trial conditions from the courthouse in White River Junction, including a court-order that they stay at least 300 feet away from Felicia Woodruff at all times.
Woodruff, 30, told state police that in July she’d had a friend drive her to the couple’s residence in Andover, a town of less than 500 people that is squeezed in between Weston and Chester, so that she could purchase a car that belonged to Parker.
According to an affidavit filed with the court, Woodruff said her friend waited in his car while she went inside and negotiated the purchase with Riley because Parker wasn’t home yet. Woodruff told police that Parker called Riley at one point and heard her in the background and allegedly exclaimed “Someone is there. They are dead!”
A short time later “Harvey came running into the residence with a hammer in his hand and attempted to hit (Woodruff) with it,” Trooper Anthony Frissora recounted in his report after he interviewed Woodruff.
“Riley blocked the swing and grabbed Harvey’s hand before he made contact with (Woodruff)…(but) he threw her on the floor and every time she attempted to get up he would kick her back to the ground. (Woodruff) explained that he would grab her by the neck when she would successfully get up and throw her against the wall.”
“(Woodruff said) she told Harvey several times that she was pregnant and to stop but he would not. Woodruff advised that she covered her stomach while this was occurring in an attempt to protect the child…as she was attempting to get up and leave the residence Harvey punched her in the back of the head, knocking her out. (Woodruff) explained that he also kicked her in the back approximately four times which caused immense pain…when she regained consciousness he was strangling her. Woodruff advised that she finally crawled through the final door of the residence and (made it to her friend’s) vehicle that was parked down the street,” Trooper Frissora wrote.
The trooper said Woodruff told him she waited three days to report the alleged assault because she was afraid of what would happen. Woodruff told the trooper it was still hard for her to breathe and she thought she had sustained broken ribs. Frissora said he was able to photograph various bruises and scrapes on her body as part of his investigation.
Two other witnesses who saw Woodruff immediately after the alleged attack gave statements to police saying she appeared to have been assaulted by someone and had “a hand mark” and fingernail scrapes on her neck along with numerous bruises on her back, neck, arms and legs.
Trooper Frissora said when he initially tried to interview the couple about the allegations “Riley was very upset” with the police presence and “advised that nothing had occurred at the residence.” Frissora said Parker also deflected efforts to interview him about the allegations.
The next day, July 30th, several troopers returned with a search warrant and interviewed Parker who claimed he was not home at the time the alleged altercation supposedly took place.
Riley also allegedly gave police a sworn written statement saying Parker was not there but troopers said that account was contradicted by at least one of their other witnesses.
The couple are due back in court at the end of October for a status conference in the case.
Tammy Riley (farthest left) watches Parker's arraignment on Tuesday afternoon before Judge Timothy Tomasi
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