By PoliceOne Staff
RUTLAND, Vt. — A woman who approached an officer from behind and used a knife to cut his throat has been acquitted by a jury of an attempted murder charge.
The Times-Argus reports Jennifer Berube was acquitted Friday less than two hours after jurors began deliberations.
Rutland City Police arrested Berube, along with her husband, John MacLean III, in December 2012 for possessing a stolen credit card.
Surveillance footage from the police station’s booking area following the arrest captured Berube sneaking up on Officer Damon Nguyen from behind with a 2-inch blade in her hand. She put her hands around Officer Nguyen’s neck and struggled with him until she was subdued by multiple other officers, according to the report.
Officer Nguyen suffered a cut near his jugular vein as a result of the attack. The blade used by Berube was in an inside jacket pocket and was missed when police patted her down.
“The video was pretty clear. The evidence was pretty clear. But depending on where you sit it’s possible to have different perspectives,” Police Chief James Baker said. “It’s a verdict that’s disappointing to other members of the department as well, but I’m extremely proud of everyone involved in the case and in those officers who were there all week to support Officer Nguyen.”
Berube claims she held the knife in an escape attempt, and wanted to scare the officer, not harm him.
The jury delivered “not guilty” verdicts for attempted second-degree murder and the lesser charge of attempted aggravated assault with serious bodily injury.