News Briefs, police

Attempted murder suspect from Vermont nabbed in Nevada; mother to face charges, too

By Alan J. Keays/VTDigger

A man wanted on two counts of attempted murder in Northfield, who has been on the run since March 20, has been arrested in Nevada, according to police.

Courtesy of VSP
Aleksander Cherkasov

A prosecutor is planning to charge his mother, who was with him when he was taken into custody, for allegedly helping him evade police.

Aleksander Cherkasov, 19, was arrested Saturday afternoon in Las Vegas, Northfield Police said in a news release. 

He is being held in custody pending an extradition hearing to return him to Vermont to face nine charges. The four felony and five misdemeanor offenses include two counts of second-degree attempted murder and one count of aggravated domestic assault with a deadly weapon.

Washington County State’s Attorney Rory Thibault said Monday that authorities had obtained search warrants for cellphone numbers to help track Cherkasov and his mother as part of the investigation.

On Saturday, police in Nevada stopped a vehicle for a problem with its license plate and took Cherkasov, who was inside, into custody, the prosecutor said. 

His mother, Jennifer Canfield, was with Cherkasov in Nevada, Thibault said, and police will be filing charges against her for aiding Cherkasov to avoid capture. 

The prosecutor said he is waiting to hear if Cherkasov chooses to waive extradition to return to Vermont or whether a governor’s warrant will be needed to force his return back to the state. 

Once back in Vermont, Thibault said, Cherkasov will face arraignment. The prosecutor said he will ask the judge to hold Cherkasov without bail pending his trial.

The charges stem from a March 20 incident. That’s when police were called to a report of a driver who had rammed a car off an embankment, forcing it to fall 40-50 feet, according to an affidavit in the case, and that two girls had escaped from the vehicle before it was pushed over the edge.

Police later identified the two girls as Cherkasov’s girlfriend who was with one of her friends.

According to the affidavit, Cherkasov and his girlfriend had been arguing earlier, with him accusing her of denting his car. He then demanded money to pay for the damages, according to the affidavit.

The two girls then got in their car and drove away, according to court records, and Cherkasov followed them and ran them off the road. During that pursuit, the girls’ car got stuck on an embankment, however; they were able to get out of the vehicle before Cherkasov is alleged to have pushed it down the hill.  

Cherkasov then drove away and had been missing since.

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