Crime and Justice

Burlington man in custody for attempted murder

The Burlington Police Department. Photo by Aidan Quigley/VTDigger

Stephen J. Blaisdell, 36, has been charged with attempted second-degree murder, unlawful restraint and interference with access to emergency services following an alleged domestic violence incident July 7 in Burlington. 

Blaisdell pleaded not guilty at his arraignment July 8 and is currently being held without bail at Northwest Correctional Facility in Swanton. 

According to a police affidavit, Blaisdell’s girlfriend said she arrived at Blaisdell’s Burlington apartment around 1 p.m. Tuesday, July 7. She said they had been drinking in his apartment when they listened to a song that reminded Blaisdell of his recently deceased infant son. Blaisdell then threw food and an object out the window before repeatedly punching the left side of her jaw and face. 

The victim said she tried to protect her head with her hands and a blanket and by hiding under the bed. But over several hours, he allegedly beat her with closed fists, a wooden stick, a TV stand and a fan. She told police Blaisdell also choked her with his hands three times, each time causing her to lose consciousness. 

Blaisdell allegedly said to her, “I’m gonna kill you,” and “We’re gonna [expletive] die together tonight.” 

According to the affidavit, she tried calling 911 twice over the course of the attack, but Blaisdell broke her iPad and his phone to stop her. When she tried to escape the apartment, he stopped her with force twice, one time dragging her back down the hallway by her ankles. On her third attempt, she knocked on other apartment doors until a neighbor let her in. 

She called 911 from her neighbor’s phone at approximately 11:35 p.m. Burlington police met the victim outside the apartment. 

The woman told police, “I’m surprised I’m alive right now.”

Police reported her face and head were swollen, her left eye was swollen shut, and areas of her neck were purple. She was taken to the University of Vermont Medical Center. 

While at the hospital, she expressed concern that Blaisdell would attempt suicide and gave police permission to conduct a welfare check at the apartment. When police returned to the apartment, they arrested Blaisdell. 

Sgt. Michael Henry of Burlington Police said the victim has since been released from the hospital. 

According to the affidavit, Blaisdell told police he only hit the victim with his fists and used no other weapons. He also said to police that he acted in self-defense. 

Blaisdell’s attorney Margaret Jansch of the public defender’s office said her client pleaded not guilty and is presumed innocent. 

“We’re starting our own investigation, as we do in every case, and so I don’t have any comment at this point,” Jansch said. 

Second-degree attempted murder carries a sentence of up to life in prison, with a presumptive minimum sentence of 20 years. The maximum sentence for unlawful restraint is 15 years in prison, and/or a fine up to $50,000. For interference with access to emergency services, it is no more than one-year imprisonment and/or a $5,000 fine.

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Riley Robinson

About Riley

Riley Robinson comes to VTDigger through the Dow Jones News Fund. She previously has written for the Christian Science Monitor and the Huntington News, Northeastern's independent student paper. Her photography has also been published by the Washington Post, the GroundTruth Project, the Chautauquan Daily and the Monitor.

Email: [email protected]

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