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Vt. man agrees to plea deal in Newport, N.H., assault and theft

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 7/29/2021 9:45:02 PM
Modified: 7/29/2021 9:45:06 PM

NEWPORT, N.H. — One of three men accused of beating and stealing from a southern Vermont man when he attempted to sell them marijuana last summer has agreed to plead guilty to the crime, according to court records.

Tyler Anstruther, 26, of Bridgewater, signed a deal this month agreeing to plead guilty to second-degree assault, theft and obstructing government administration in relation to the July 30, 2020, incident at a home in Newport, according to a filing in Sullivan Superior Court.

If the deal is accepted by a judge, Anstruther would spend six months in the Sullivan County House of Corrections; participate in the jail’s minimum security TRAILS program, a cognitive behavioral treatment program for inmates; and receive a 2½- to seven-month suspended sentence, according to court documents. The deal would also require Anstruther to serve three years of probation and pay an undisclosed amount in restitution.

Anstruther was arrested with two Claremont residents, Mitchell Blaisdell, 19, and Savion Thomas-Piche, 19.

The charges stem from an incident last summer when Wilmington, Vt., resident John Lyddy, who was 22 at the time, arrived at Valley Regional Hospital with a fractured bone in his back and a 1½-inch laceration on the back of his head, according to a police affidavit written by Newport Police Detective Steven Lee.

Lyddy told police he had traveled to Newport a little after midnight to sell a brick of marijuana and cannabis oil to a teenager with whom he’d been speaking on social media, according to the affidavit. He said the teen, who was a juvenile, had told him to come to a house on 142 Chestnut Road, but when Lyddy arrived, he told police, he was “tackled from behind” by several people. He said the group assaulted him, including beating him with a bat and cutting him with a knife, the affidavit said. Lyddy told police the group stole around $1,100 from his wallet and then told him to leave the house.

During the investigation, police went to the home on Chestnut Road and found Blaisdell, Thomas-Piche and Anstruther hiding in a locked room in the basement, according to the affidavit. In interviews, Blaisdell and Anstruther denied being at the house during the assault, but Thomas-Piche said he saw Blaisdell and Anstruther, as well as two minors, beating Lyddy, according to police.

Thomas-Piche also told police that the group had developed a “plan” to lure Lyddy to the house so they could beat and rob him, the affidavit said.

Blaisdell was arraigned on charges of robbery, assault and falsifying physical evidence in August and released on a $3,500 bail, but he failed to show up to court for a scheduled hearing early this month, Assistant Sullivan County Attorney Justin Hersch wrote in a motion last week, requesting a judge revoke his bail.

Police took Blaisdell into custody last week and Superior Court Judge Brian Tucker ordered him held on a $10,000 cash bail. He has a hearing scheduled for Sept. 9 in Sullivan Superior Court.

Thomas-Piche was initially arrested shortly after the incident and was released on conditions, including that he not have contact with Lyddy, and that he stay at a home in Claremont. However, after he failed to show up to a hearing in December, police charged him with a felony count of bail jumping. A warrant for his arrest was still open on Thursday.

Messages to Lyddy’s attorney for comment were not returned Thursday.

Anna Merriman can be reached at amerriman@vnews.com or 603-727-3216.




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