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Woman charged with attempted murder pleads guilty to assault and avoids a trial

Union Leader Correspondent

May 29. 2012 10:46PM

NASHUA -Stephanie Kenyon, indicted on charges including attempted murder, is pleading guilty to two counts of second-degree assault, effectively ending the matter.

Kenyon, 24, has been behind bars since April 13, 2011, when she was arrested for stabbing Sandra Gross outside Gross' home in Milford.

The incident, according to court documents, started just hours after Kenyon was released from jail for serving time for drug possession when Kenyon went to see her boyfriend, Joseph Randolf, at the home of his parents, Sandra and Robert Gross.

During a fight between Kenyon and the Gross couple, Kenyon stabbed Sandra Gross in the chest, leg and abdomen, causing serious injury that required hospitalization. According to court documents, Kenyon argued through her attorney, Justin Shepherd, that she was acting in self-defense and that Robert and Sandra Gross had assaulted her first.

Witnesses, according to court records, reportedly said that Robert Gross had at one point been on top of Kenyon and had smashed her head into the ground while holding her hair. Another witness said, according to court records, that Sandra Gross had smashed Kenyon's face into the steering wheel while Kenyon was seated in her car.

Milford police arrested Kenyon following the altercation and she was later indicted on one count of attempted murder, which carries a possible sentence of life in prison, three counts of first-degree assault, nine counts of second-degree assault, and one count of criminal threatening.

But the question of whether Kenyon was the aggressor or acting in self-defense will not be answered in the courtroom after a plea agreement was struck just before her trial was set to begin this week.

According to the deal, Kenyon won't face life in prison, but she will be serving more time after agreeing to plead guilty to two counts of second-degree assault. The first count comes with a two-to-five year sentence to be served at the New Hampshire State Prison. The second count calls for two-and-a-half to five years in prison, suspended for five years after her release on the first count.

The plea agreement will be adjudicated in Hillsborough County Superior Court - Southern District in Nashua on June 7 at 9 a.m.

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