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Rutland jury defends decision to acquit attempted murder suspect - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Rutland jury defends decision to acquit attempted murder suspect

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RUTLAND, Vt. - A Vermont woman was found not guilty of attempted murder. That's despite a security camera capturing her sneaking up behind a Rutland police officer with a knife.

David Soucy, the jury foreman and the rest of the jury in this case came to almost an immediate decision that Jennifer Berube was not guilty. He says there were two key pieces of evidence that convinced them the charges did not fit the crime.

Many who saw the video from December 2012 of 40-year-old Jennifer Berube approaching Rutland City police officer Damon Nguyen from behind with a knife were surprised that the Vermont woman walked free after a trial ended just under two weeks ago.

"The scene is horrific I mean, she has a knife, she sneaks up behind him, there's a big you know, fight for the knife," said Soucy.

But Soucy says the charge of attempted second degree murder that prosecutors brought, didn't fit.

"She certainly assaulted the officer, there was no question about that, but that wasn't the charge," said Soucy.

After the jury of eight women and four men viewed evidence, including the video, Soucy says they came to decision almost right away.

"At no point did she actually try to stab him or to cut him. She certainly put the knife in front of his face," said Soucy.

Berube was still in the police station after the attack, where she and her husband were in police custody for reportedly attempting to use a stolen credit card, when she made statements and allegedly did not know she was being recorded.

"She said, I wasn't trying to hurt him, I was only trying to get his keys," said Soucy.

Soucy and the rest of the jury also found her not guilty of the lesser charge of aggravated assault, which he said took them a little longer, about 45 minutes to deliberate on.

"For that again, we needed the same intent," said Soucy.

Soucy says that although he believes they came to the right decision, it is still hard to live with the fact that Berube is walking free.

Soucy also mentioned that he has the utmost respect for law enforcement and the difficult job they do and although he and jury knew she did something wrong, it just wasn't deserving of attempted murder charge.

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