Police say an internal investigation into the knife attack against a Rutland officer outlines a twisted attempted murder plot.
Rutland Police Chief Jim Baker said Jennifer Berube attempted to kill Ofc. Damon Nguyen three weeks ago to try to save her husband. "I believe that the husband and wife had made a suicide pact prior to getting here," Baker said.
Berube and her husband were arrested together for allegedly using stolen credit cards. The report presented to the police commission Monday night said Berube was caught on camera at the police station saying to her husband, "I love you no matter what." His reply: "I love you. The last time I say it, I love you."
Though police have not released the video, Baker said those are among other exchanges the couple had that to him sounded like goodbye. "I can't present it here, but I can tell you to watch it is pretty chilling," Chief Baker said.
But it was something else that was found in the husband's cell that drove the theory home for police. "We found inside his cell shoelaces that were set up in order for him to hang himself and commit suicide," Chief Baker said.
Baker believes Berube couldn't go through with it, saying to her husband, "Don't do it, don't leave me." That's why he believes she tried to kill officer Nguyen.
"We believe it was a suicide pact and she made the decision that she was going to try to prevent that from happening by getting control of Officer Nguyen and allowing them to escape," Baker explained.
Officers say Berube was frisked and searched before she entered a police interview room. No weapon was found during the initial search. Berube claims she got the Leatherman knife once inside. But Baker believes it was initially missed by police and was smuggled inside Berube's baggy sweatshirt. Baker said she was caught on camera saying she had it before she was brought into the interview room. Police say they also found a hypodermic needle and a hair clip while conducting a second search after the alleged attack, that could have been used as weapons. "Although it's not acceptable, it's not unusual to miss evidence during the course of a search of an individual," Chief Baker said.
Baker has plans to retrain officers on personal inventory searches and on warning signs that a person in custody might be unstable. Berube is being held without bail.
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