White River man charged with nearly severing his brother's arm during knife attack in Springfield
SPRINGFIELD - A White River Junction resident is facing a possible life sentence after police in Springfield say he viciously slashed his younger brother early Sunday morning during a heated argument in an apartment on River Street.
Steven Aspen, 35, was ordered held for lack of $25,000 bail on Monday after he appeared in court in White River Junction and pleaded innocent to felony counts of maiming and first degree aggravated domestic assault.
Police said that victim David Aspen, 30, nearly died after losing a large amount of blood at the scene and, after initially being treated at Springfield Hospital, he was airlifted by a DHART medical helicopter to the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center where his condition was not immediately available.
Several Springfield Police officers responded to Young's Apartment Complex on River Street just after 2 a.m. on Sunday morning in response to calls that 911 dispatchers were taking about a man screaming for help in one of the hallways.
Responding officers described finding David Aspen with his clothing covered in bright red blood lying in a pool of blood in the parking lot of the 10-apartment complex with his older brother standing nearby, also covered in a significant amount of blood.
Police said that David Aspen was praying and saying that he didn't want to die as officers applied a tourniquet to his bicep in order to treat an injury they described as a near-amputation. Aspen was also slashed down the side of his face from his ear to his chin.
According to a lengthy affidavit filed with the court by Springfield Police Detective Patrick Call, along with additional reports from other officers at the scene, Steven Aspen initially claimed that his brother had injured himself by accidentally falling onto a "butter knife."
In a near-constant series of interviews with police that followed at the apartment and then at the hospital, Steven Aspen allegedly gave police vague and unconvincing answers as to what had transpired in his brother's apartment and repeatedly changed his version of events, at various times saying that it had all been an accident or that he had been defending himself, Detective Call wrote.
Steven Aspen had sustained a small wound to one of his thumbs and suggested that was proof that he was the victim in the encounter, Call wrote, noting that the detective pointed out the vastly disproportionate injuries that had been suffered by David Aspen during whatever transpired.
Police recovered a large 12-inch long serrated knife from just inside the doorway of the apartment and noted that large amounts of blood were found in several areas inside, outside in the hallway and down the stairs into the parking lot.
During the course of the morning's investigation Steven Aspen submitted to a breath test which showed a 0.108 percent blood alcohol level, police said.
If he were to be convicted of the rarely used maiming charge, Steven Aspen could face jail time somewhere between a mandatory minimum of 7 years and a potential maximum of up to life.
Vermont News can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org