Man pleads guilty in New Year's Eve hammer attack

Published: 2/24/2023 3:00:56 PM
Modified: 2/24/2023 3:00:01 PM

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — A 38-year-old man charged with striking a 65-year-old man with a hammer and stealing his guns at his home in Bridgewater on New Year’s Eve more than a year ago pleaded guilty to a single charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in Windsor County Superior Court on Friday.

The plea agreement for Orlando “Angel” Cruz, who previously resided in the Rutland and Castleton, Vt., area, calls for him to serve two-to-five years in prison concurrently with his incarceration in Connecticut, where he is serving a five-year prison sentence on a parole revocation, according to court records. Cruz will also receive credit for time since his arraignment in Vermont more than 13 months ago and any time served in his Connecticut incarceration.

Other charges against Cruz, including a charge of cocaine possession in Rutland Superior Court, have been dismissed under the plea agreement.

Cruz entered a Bridgewater man’s home on Stevens Road in Bridgewater near midnight on Dec. 31, 2021, and struck him with a hammer and along with a female accomplice took several items from the man’s home, including two muzzle-loader firearms and slashed the man’s vehicle tires before fleeing, police said at the time.

Cruz and his accomplice were apprehended and arrested three days later by Rutland City police.

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