***UPDATED DEC. 10***
Judge Michael Kupersmith issued his sentence in the Kaseen Smith case after the Observer went to press on Wednesday. Kupersmith sentenced Smith to 15 to 30 years in prison for two counts of aggravated domestic assault against his then girlfriend.
Kupersmith called Smith "major danger" to the community when handing down the sentence.
More details will appear in the Dec. 17 issue of the Observer.
Dec. 10, 2009
By Tim Simard
A Williston man accused of assaulting his former girlfriend on numerous occasions nearly three years ago entered a sentencing hearing in Vermont District Court in Burlington on Wednesday.
Kaseen Smith, 34, is contesting his sentence for assault charges levied against him in February 2007, according to Chittenden County State’s Attorney T.J. Donovan. Donovan said Smith pleaded guilty to the charges earlier this year.
Smith could face 15 to 30 years in prison for the assault charges.
The sentencing hearing could last two days, with a final decision scheduled for Dec. 10. Donovan said there was a chance the proceedings could be wrapped up by Wednesday afternoon, though they had not finished prior to press deadline.
Smith was charged in February 2007 with aggravated domestic assault, aggravated sexual assault and domestic assault in connection with the alleged abuse of the woman.
During the hearing on Wednesday morning, as part of a plea deal, the prosecution agreed to drop the sexual assault charges.
Smith was also previously charged and found guilty of attempting to disarm a police officer. During processing for the assault charges, Smith tried to take Williston Police Detective Mike Lavoie’s gun from his holster. In a short trial in December 2007, Smith was found guilty of the felony charge and sentenced to two to three years, with time served.
Police accused Smith of being abusive to and controlling of his girlfriend. In the alleged assaults, court documents state Smith frequently beat the woman, poured hot wax in her eyes and made her eat her own contact lenses, among other offenses.
Smith’s ex-wife, to whom he was married at the time of the alleged assaults, testified at Wednesday’s hearing that he also abused her “way too many (times) to count.”
Smith does not face any charges pertaining to those alleged assaults.
Smith lived in Williston with his wife, his girlfriend and eight children. He was a volunteer recreation basketball coach in town and an aspiring rap musician with a cable access show based in Burlington called “KA Live.”
Smith is being held at the Chittenden County Correctional Center in South Burlington.