Now facing multiple felony charges
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION - A Lebanon, New Hampshire man was ordered held without bail Monday following a violent series of incidents that allegedly transpired Sunday night at his ex-wife's home in Weathersfield, Vermont.
Douglas Cutting, 50, was ordered held without bail after he pleaded innocent to four separate felony counts of first-degree aggravated domestic assault with a weapon and to three accompanying misdemeanor counts of reckless endangerment.
"This event is very troubling and we are lucky we are not here on a triple homicide," Judge Timothy Tomasi noted from the bench Monday afternoon as he rejected a request to have Cutting released into a curfew at his home on Hanover Street in Lebanon where he has lived for the past eight years.
The judge said that Windsor County State's Attorney David Cahill had laid out "clear and convincing concerns" about the "multiple aggressions against multiple parties" that Cutting had allegedly carried out Sunday evening after he accepted an invitation to dinner with his ex-wife and their adult sons at her home in Weathersfield.
Vermont State Police said that Virginia Cutting called 911 just after 8 p.m. Sunday and reported that her ex-husband had come over for dinner with the family, taken a short nap afterwards, and had awoken in a rage while going on about an incident that had happened more than a decade ago.
Virginia Cutting told dispatchers that she'd been choked to the point she couldn't breathe in the moments before her adult sons, Dillon Cutting and Andrew Picknell, intervened and pulled Douglas off of her. The group then forced Cutting outside and locked the door to the home only to have Cutting pull out a small .22 caliber semi-automatic handgun which he allegedly began firing at the door knob.
Trooper Eric Vitali said investigators later found four oval-shaped "non-penetrating bullet strike marks" around the door handles along with bullet fragments and four .22 shell casings outside the door.
In an affidavit filed with the court, Vitali wrote that while dispatchers were still on the phone with Virginia Cutting her ex-husband managed to kick the door in and he allegedly re-entered the home and began pointing the gun at all three occupants until a struggle ensued between him and his step-son Picknell during which the gun fell to the floor. Virginia Cutting managed to grab the gun and get it out of the house and when she later turned it over to the troopers Vitali said they discovered that it had jammed due to a "double feed" in which two rounds had been fed from the magazine into the chamber at the same time.
Douglas Cutting had already left the residence before responding troopers could get there so they ended up stopping him on Route 131 and Vitali wrote that Cutting was uncooperative and allegedly refusing to obey commands while swearing at police and making obscene gestures with his blood-covered hands before he was put on the ground next to his car and taken into custody.
During Cutting's arraignment on Monday afternoon, State's Attorney Cahill brought up Cutting's record of what he characterized as "a fairly well-trod path of violent and aggressive behavior towards other people," that includes a handful of past convictions for disorderly conduct, simple assault and criminal mischief.
"This was a domestic assault incident that unfolded in several stages," Cahill stressed to Judge Tomasi.
"First there was the...strangulation. The defendant then chose to introduce a firearm into that volatile situation and then he pointed a loaded gun at three people, one of which was a minor under the age of eighteen."
Cahill pointed to the jammed gun and noted, "the firearm stopped firing, not through any volition on Mr. Cutting's part but just because the firearm had a mechanical issue."
Cutting faces a maximum potential penalty of up to 63 years in prison if he were to be convicted of all of the charges currently pending against him.
Douglas Cutting of Lebanon in court in White River Junction on Monday afternoon with defense attorney Mike Shane
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