Woman charged with attempted murder after ax attack on boyfriend

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April 23, 2014, 11:34 am
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UPDATE: Judge Mandell of Fitchburg District Court has ordered that Ravanis be evaluated for competency. Her arraignment, initially scheduled for Thursday, has been moved to May 22.

(NECN: Alysha Palumbo, Lunenburg, Mass.) - Crime scene tape surrounds the Lunenburg, Mass. home where 47-year-old Rhonda Ravanis allegedly attacked her 53-year-old live-in boyfriend Robert Volpe with an ax, allegedly striking him in the head and neck at least three times.

Volpe was rushed to UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester to undergo surgery. At last check, he was in stable but critical condition.

Neighbors say the couple has lived on South Row Road for five or six years and there have been incidents in the past.

“I was kind of surprised to wake up and see the caution tape,” said next-door neighbor Matthew Ahearn. “I thought something had happened, I thought maybe she had boiled over and tried to kill him or something. Because she had hit him with a frying pan, maybe a year ago or so. She had hit him in the middle of the night, kind of the same thing.”

Investigators say after attacking her boyfriend, Ravanis allegedly went across the street to Donna and Rusty Scott’s house.

“She was coming over here to kill us," said Donna Scott, who was too upset to show her face on camera.

Scott described in detail how Ravanis allegedly tried to hack her way in to the front door and smashed the ax through the picture window, leaving shattered glass on the ground and blood on the curtains and siding.

“She came over here at 1:30 and started pounding on the door with an ax, and she couldn’t get in. Rusty put the curtain up right there in the kitchen, and her face was right there,” said Scott. “When she broke the glass, it fell back on her and it cut her up.”

Ravanis faces charges of attempted murder, assault with a dangerous weapon, vandalizing property and resisting arrest.

“I think it’s very unfortunate, I think it’s tragic actually. She’s had issues, she's had mental health issues before, and it’s too bad that nobody takes it seriously,” said neighbor Bill Kenerson.

Ravanis was scheduled to be arraigned in Fitchburg District Court Wednesday, but a judge determined she was too out of control for court and ordered her held without bail pending arraignment.

The judge has ordered that she be evaluated for competency. Her arraignment date has been moved to May 22.

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Tags: Worcester, ax, joseph early jr., fitchburg district court, ax attack, Rhonda Ravanis, Robert Volpe, Matthew Ahearn, Dana Scott, Rusty Scott, John Fitch Highway
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