Two suspects in robbery attempt at motel plead not guilty

By JOHN LIPPMAN

Valley News Staff Writer

Published: 03-14-2023 12:36 PM

BRATTLEBORO, Vt. — Two people who police initially warned were at-large, armed and not to be approached each pleaded not guilty to charges of assault, robbery and unlawful restraint in Windham Superior Court on Monday. The pair is accused of attempting to rob a woman at a motel in Hartford last Friday morning.

April Sanville, 33, and Dana Wescott, 40, were arraigned in Windham Superior Court in Brattleboro on Monday via video conference from Southern State Correctional Facility, where they were held after being apprehended along Route 14 near Dothan Road in West Hartford on Saturday morning, less than 24 hours after they allegedly attempted to rob and restrain a 31-year-old woman who was residing at the South on 5 Motel located on Hartford Avenue, according to police.

Sanville is charged with five counts, including assault and robbery, larceny from a person, accessory before the fact, simple assault and unlawful restraint in the first degree. Wescott is charged with three counts, including accessory aiding in the commission of an assault and robbery, larceny from a person and accessory in unlawful restraint in the first degree.

Following arraignment, they were released on $1,000 bail and with conditions, including curfews, monitoring and no contact with the victim.

Both Sanville, whose last address was in Hartford, and Wescott, formerly of East Corinth, told police they had been living out of Wescott’s vehicle and that the woman who they confronted Friday morning owned them money.

The alleged victim told police that she had returned to the motel from addiction treatment when Sanville and Wescott arrived in the parking lot and began haranguing her for money she allegedly owed them and which they believed she possessed, according to the affidavit in support of charges prepared by Eric Clifford, an officer with the Hartford Police Department.

The woman told police that Sanville, whom she said she observed had a “black small handgun,” jumped out of the car, punched her and attempted to drag her into the vehicle.

“I think they would have killed me,” the woman told police, noting that the driver also had “two big knives on him.”

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On Saturday, when police located Sanville and Wescott on Route 14, they found two fixed knives in sheaths on either side of Wescot’s belt and one folding knife in his pocket in addition to an expandable baton, according to the affidavit. They also found the debt card of the woman who lives at the motel in Wescott’s pocket.

Police asked Sanville if she had a gun on her and she replied ‘no’ and police did not recover any firearms from the vehicle, the affidavit said. The two suspects were taken into custody without incident.

“Sanville said she does not like guns,” the officer reported in the affidavit.

Contact John Lippman at jlippman@vnews.com.

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