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Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Man given 10-year sentence for assault (USA)

A member of a neo-Nazi group was sentenced Tuesday to serve at least 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to three assaults.

Timothy J. Dufresne, 29, of School Street, will serve at least 10 years in prison, said Deputy State’s Attorney Christina Rainville. After that, the rest of his sentence will be suspended and he will be on probation.

Dufresne was charged as a habitual offender because of past felony convictions.

He pleaded guilty to aggravated assault stemming from an April 25 incident in which Bennington police said he stabbed a neighbor, 25-year-old Christopher Strattman, in the eye with a broom handle after breaking it over Strattman’s head. Police said Dufresne and Strattman had been in an argument over items left on the porch they shared.

Police located Dufresne a few days after the incident hiding in the back of his mother’s vehicle under a pile of clothes after she was pulled over on Route 9.

According to another police affidavit, Stephanie O’Dell accused Dufresne of punching her in the face a number of times on April 10 near Pleasant Street. Dufresne and his then-fiancee, Sarah B. Ennis, told police O’Dell and another person instigated the fight, and they were assaulted as well.

A third police affidavit describes an incident on April 24 involving Dufresne and Ennis, and a number of other people. Police said Dufresne and Ennis got into an argument with a group by the Stewart’s Shop on Main Street. It progressed to the nearby cemetery where Dufresne sprayed a man with pepper spray. From that incident Dufresne was charged with aggravated assault by administering a drug.

Ennis was also charged with several felonies for threatening members of the group with a BB gun. Those charges were lowered to misdemeanors, and the state also decided not to pursue the charges as hate crimes. Ennis was given a 18- to 36-month suspended sentence.

Dufresne told the Banner in an interview last year that he joined a group called Hitler’s Henchmen while serving a jail stint in Kentucky. Dufresne has a number of tattoos featuring Nazi imagery and racist themes.

Bennington Banner