Roger Pion: Ready for Trial

By CHRISTOPHER ROYExpress Staff WriterNEWPORT CITY - Roger Pion, 35, of Newport was found competent to stand trial.That was the word in Orleans County Court Tuesday after it received a Sept. 19 competency report. The content of the report is not public record and therefore not available to the press.Pion is accused of driving over several Orleans County Sheriff Department cruisers with a farm tractor before leading police on a pursuit from the sheriff's office, to Causeway in Newport Newport City.Pion faces charges of aggravated assault on a law enforcement agent with a weapon, unlawful mischief greater than $1,000, reckless or gross negligent operation of a motor vehicle, leaving the scene of a crash with property damage, unlawful mischief less than $250, operating a vehicle with a suspended license, and using a weapon to commit a crime.Pion remains in the custody of his parents, Armond and Linda. He must not have contact with the Orleans County Sheriff Department as part of his conditions of release.Chandler Matson, Pion's third attorney in the case, said he would be ready for a status conference in a month. State's Attorney Alan Framklin asked to set a trial date for February. Matson said that sounds realistic for now, but added there is paperwork he doesn't have yet.Judge Howard VanBenthuysen set a status conference in 30 to 45 days and jury draw during the first or second week in February.