Ascutney woman charged over alleged gun threat

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION - An Ascutney resident who ran over and killed an elderly Windsor woman five months ago had the matter brought up in court this week as she was facing an aggravated assault charge in a completely unrelated matter.

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    Arden Sanborn, 39, fought back tears on Monday as she pleaded innocent to a felony count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and to accompanying misdemeanor counts of criminal threatening, reckless endangerment and providing false information to police in an effort to deflect an investigation.

    Windsor County State’s Attorney David Cahill referred to the fatal accident that took place back on September 25th in Windsor where Sanborn ran over a woman who was getting her mail out of her mailbox alongside Route 5 as he urged Judge Timothy Tomasi to hold Sanborn without bail.

    Sanborn is now accused of pulling a gun last Friday morning in the parking lot of the Park & Ride facility next to the Ascutney Fire Station and pointing it in the face of her mother’s boyfriend and threatening to kill him.

    State’s Attorney Cahill told the judge that last fall he came within a whisker of filing charges against Sanborn before deciding not to for various reasons.

    “A threat to kill, coupled with a firearm, is not something the state takes lightly,” Cahill said, as he suggested that Sanborn of all people should have learned the value of human life, “given that she has just had the real life lesson of hitting and killing another person.”

    Given that context, “There’s something terribly wrong,” Cahill said.

    Sanborn’s defense attorney successfully argued against having her held pre-trial and instead convinced the judge to release Sanborn into the custody of a responsible adult, her boyfriend William Gibson, who agreed to monitor her and report any violations of her conditions of release.

    “This situation is very muddled,” Gibson, the apparent owner of the firearm that was allegedly brandished on Friday, told the judge as he urged the court to allow Sanborn to remain out in the community under strict curfew conditions while her case is pending.

    It was Sanborn’s mother, Carol Reynolds, who placed a 911 call to police on Friday morning saying that her daughter had just showed up at the Park & Ride and pointed a handgun at Reynolds’ boyfriend, Paul Johnson, who was seated in the car with Reynolds.

    Sanborn had previously obtained an order against stalking that requires Johnson to stay away from her and at the conclusion of Monday’s court proceeding Sanborn was also ordered to stay at least 300 feet away from Johnson at all times.

    In his sworn statement to police, which was filed with the court, Johnson wrote that Sanborn showed up in the parking lot and “started yelling” before getting out of her car and approaching Johnson.  

    “She pulled a gun, 9 millimeter by the looks, and pointed it at me…” Johnson wrote, adding, “Arden used the butt of the gun and tried to break the passenger side window” before her mother drove off and called police.

    Sanborn faces a maximum potential penalty of up to five years in jail on the aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charge and up to a year each on the misdemeanor counts.

    The false information charge was filed because police said Sanborn initially claimed that she had been holding a cell phone phone during the confrontation and only later admitted to having taken Gibson’s handgun to the scene, apparently without his knowledge or permission.

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