Newport man pleads not guilty in standoff - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Newport man pleads not guilty in standoff

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The suspect in a standoff that put a Newport neighborhood on lockdown Tuesday was in court Wednesday, where his mental health was the focus.

Police say the situation on Pleasant Street in Newport Tuesday could have been deadly. Now, Daniel Kelley, 41, faces aggravated assault charges.

Police say Kelley threatened two neighbors with a rifle Tuesday. He claims the couple's dog attacked his dog. Authorities say Kelley then holed up in his rented motel apartment wearing camo gear and a helmet, and threatened police.

There was a massive police response and evacuations in the neighborhood. The standoff ended peacefully Wednesday morning when Kelley surrendered.

At his arraignment in Newport Wednesday afternoon, Kelley refused help from his court-appointed lawyer and advice from the judge. He also had words for prosecutors.

"And I would say that Mr. Whitney is going to demand that it be proven there was some aggravated assault that occurred but obviously it didn't. And I have been overcharged, prosecutor, have I not?!" Kelley demanded.

Daniel Kelley: I'll tell it to the jury.

Superior Court Judge Howard VanBenthuysen: Mr. Kelley, if you can't control yourself we are going to have to excuse you. So please be quiet for a moment. I will take the not guilty plea and order he be held without bail and order a competency and sanity evaluation.

"The charges that he is facing currently are pointing a loaded assault rifle at three individuals and using the laser to point at them and threatening to shoot them, so it's a very serious crime. Also, he had an assault rifle and a shield, was wearing a helmet and camouflage. When law enforcement went to speak to him, he shut the door in law enforcement's face and they can hear him chamber a round in one of the rifles," Orleans County State's Attorney Jennifer Barrett said.

That standoff lasted 18 hours.

Newport Police say plain old diligence prevented a violent end to the incident. They got help from State Police SWAT and negotiating teams.

Residents who were evacuated to the municipal building were finally allowed back to their homes on Pleasant Street Wednesday morning.

Related Story:

Police standoff in Newport ends in arrest

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