2013-06-13 / Communities

After Tumult in Court, Manning Still in Jail

By Eric Francis,
Correspondent


Randall Manning, center, appears in Windsor County Court escorted by a pair of sheriff’s deputies. (Herald / Eric Francis) Randall Manning, center, appears in Windsor County Court escorted by a pair of sheriff’s deputies. (Herald / Eric Francis) A Royalton man accused of choking a girlfriend, stealing her car, and fighting with police earlier in the week took an aggressive stance inside the Windsor County courtroom in White River Junction Thursday.

Randall Manning, 52, argued with deputies, flipped off a news photographer, and shouted what sounded like a death threat against his putative victim as he was being led out the door to a holding cell at the conclusion of his arraignment.

Even getting Manning to the courthouse was apparently touchand go, since officials said he had refused to cooperate with the sheriff’s “transport team” that had showed up Wednesday to collect him from the Springfield Jail to go to court. That refusal resulted in another night in custody.

Manning was arrested last Tuesday evening after a girlfriend with whom he had been living for the past month called state police. She reported that he had just grabbed her by the hair, choked her, and punched her in the face during an altercation outside her residence in Bethel.

Trooper Andrew Collier wrote in his affidavit that a witness, who had called 911, backed up the woman’s account of events. The victim ended up being taken by ambulance to Gifford Medical Center and in the meantime, Collier said, the intoxicated Manning drove off in the victim’s car without her permission.

State police dispatchers received a tip a short time later saying that the missing car was parked in front of a residence in South Royalton. Collier and two other troopers responded and located Manning asleep in the passenger side of the car, which was still running in the driveway.

Tpr. Collier said that although the officers were able to quickly handcuff Manning, he refused to follow their instructions to walk to their cruiser. He also resisted getting into the back seat, refused to get out at the state police barracks, resisted being walked to the building, and then kicked Trooper Gary Salvatore in the shin once he was finally inside, according to Collier.

Some time later, after Manning had gone through the booking process, Collier said he attempted to adjust Manning’s handcuffs for the ride to the jail when Manning allegedly “made a closed fist and wound back to hit me.”

Collier said the trio of troopers immediately tried to restrain Manning again, and a fight broke out in the processing room. Manning was “attempting to punch and kick troopers...using vulgar language” and making threats to find and kill troopers and their families once he was released, according to the police report.

Once he was in the White River Junction courtroom last Thursday, Manning abruptly stood up several times and attempted to walk out of the courtroom saying, “I don’t want to be here,” to sheriff’s deputies. He also stood up and began walking when an acting prosecutor mentioned the state was putting him on notice they would be treating him as a habitual offender because of his record of eight previous felony convictions. That charge could result in penalties of up to life in prison.

Defense Atty. Cabot Teachout entered innocent pleas on Manning’s behalf to the charges: a felony count of aggravated first degree domestic assault and misdemeanor charges of simple assault on a police officer, resisting arrest, interference with access to emergency services, and operating a vehicle without the owner’s consent.

Teachout also argued against giving too much weight to Manning’s criminal history, noting that his previous brushes with the law were “20 years ago.”

Judge Robert Gerety, who conducted the hearing via speakerphone, acknowledged the staleness of the prior convictions. But he said he felt the reports of Manning’s alleged behavior in recent days made him a risk of non-appearance, given the potential life sentence. He ordered Manning held without bail while his cases are pending.

As Manning was being led away, a woman in the courtroom called out, “Manny, I love you!” to which Manning replied, “I love you but I’m going to (expletive) kill that whore though!”

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