A Canaan man accused of trying to gouge the eyes out of a 30-year-old woman two years ago has reached a plea agreement with Essex County State’s Attorney Vince Illuzzi.
According to court documents, Scott Barr, 32, will plead guilty to seven charges in exchange for a sentence of 7-15 years to serve in prison, all suspended except for seven years, and a list of probation conditions.
Barr will also have to pay $1,029 in court surcharges and undergo a pre-sentencing investigation.
Essex Superior Court
Barr was facing a possible life sentence on charges of felony 1st-degree aggravated domestic assault and felony “maiming” for allegedly beating the woman with a box fan, head-butting her face, strangling her and attempting to gouge her eyes out with his fingers.
But the plea agreement modified the maiming charge down to unlawful restraint. The aggravated domestic assault charge remains in place, along with five charges of violating conditions of release.
At his arraignment, the court ordered Barr held without bail and set conditions that he “NOT have contact with” the alleged victim in person, by writing, telephone, e-mail or through a third person whether he is in jail or not.
But according to an affidavit filed by Essex County Deputy Sheriff Matthew Thomas, Barr was heard on recorded jailhouse calls talking to the alleged victim and attempting to manipulate her.
The state will dismiss multiple counts of violating conditions of release and interfering with access to emergency services as part of the plea deal.
Vermont State Police were called to 355 Route 253 in Canaan at 12:14 a.m. in August of 2021 after receiving a report that Barr had assaulted the alleged victim so severely she could no longer see.
Family members told investigators that after the assault, the alleged victim’s eyes were swollen shut and “gushing blood,” according to the police report.
The alleged victim told police that the assault began as she and Barr were arguing and that he started by strangling her from behind with one arm and covering her mouth so she couldn’t breathe until she almost lost consciousness.
Then came the alleged maiming incident with Barr digging his finger inside her left eye socket.
“He put his finger behind my eyeball and he pulled and tried to do the other one but couldn’t,” said the alleged victim, according to police.
Barr is represented by Burlington defense attorney Jessica Burke.
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