By Lisa Redmond
AYER -- A 26-year-old Lunenburg man is being held on $15,000 cash bail after prosecutors allege he choked his girlfriend into unconsciousness twice when she refused to return a $6,000 engagement ring and an iPhone so that he could buy drugs.
In Ayer District Court on Friday, Shawn Carpenter appeared for a dangerousness hearing before Judge James Barretto, who set conditions that he stay away from the alleged victim, not consume drugs or alcohol and submit to random screenings. Carpenter has pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder, assault to rape, two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and assault and battery in connection with the June 17 incident in Townsend.
Defense attorney Christopher Reardon alleges it was the victim who attacked Carpenter, giving him a black eye and cutting him with a knife when he left her apartment with drugs for both of them, used them, and returned empty handed.
Prosecutor Allison Brown alleges that when Townsend police responded to the victim's apartment at 3:45 a.m. they could hear a woman inside crying hysterically. They found the victim locked in the bathroom. The victim alleges that she believed someone had broken into her apartment earlier in the evening and called police. After finding nothing, police left but she placed a knife between her bed and the wall. Hours later, Carpenter, arrived at her apartment demanding she return a $6,000 engagement ring
When the victim refused, Carpenter became enraged, threw the victim around the room, calling her sexual slurs, and choked her until she passed out, Brown alleges. When she awoke, Carpenter allegedly choked her again and tried to rape her, Brown alleges.
Brown noted that Carpenter has a three-page record with 26 convictions. He is currently on probation out of Fitchburg District Court on a suspended sentence for stabbing a man with kitchen sheers.