Body of New York Man Deemed Unrecoverable at Bash Bish Falls
EGREMONT, Mass. — First responders are unable to recover the body of a New York state man who fell at Bash Bish Falls on Friday night despite what authorities described as "heroic efforts."
Aiden Campion-Pratt, 21, of Ghent, apparently slipped off a rock and fell into the falls about 7:30 Friday night. Rescuers began searching for his body Friday evening and located him about 12:30 Sunday afternoon.
After 24 hours of effort, rescue personnel on the scene located the body by means of an underwater camera, but eventually came to the reluctant decision that because of the location retrieval would not be possible.
"Obviously everyone involved is heartsick in the ultimate outcome," Berkshire District Attorney David Capeless said. "These were great efforts, under difficult and dangerous conditions, that should be recognized, and I want to extend my personal thanks to the many agencies that worked together tirelessly. Special thanks goes to the Western Massachusetts Technical Rescue Team, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation personnel, the office of Columbia (N.Y.) County Sheriff David Bartlett and Berkshire County Sheriff Thomas Bowler for their leadership and determined efforts.
"So many agencies came together to work to one end that unfortunately could not happen."
Those involved in the search and rescue effort also included members of state police detectives assigned to the district attorney's office, the Pittsfield Fire Department, the Egremont Fire Department, the Southern Berkshire
Ambulance squad, state troopers assigned to the Lee barracks, the New York State Police, the Copake (N.Y.) Fire Department, the Columbia and Berkshire counties fire coordinators, and Fastracs Excavating of Red Hook, N.Y.
Superior Court Briefs: July 21 - July 27
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Friday, July 21.
Jose Valqui, 53, of Pittsfield was found not guilty on single counts of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, assault and battery on a disabled person, and caretaker abuse on a disabled person.
Valqui was accused of assaulting a student on May 4, 2015 while working at Eagleton School.
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Monday, July 24.
Kirk Sumner Jr., 38, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to six counts of larceny from a building, five counts of breaking and entering in the daytime, two counts of larceny over $250, and a single count of wanton destruction of property.
Sumner was ordered to serve concurrent three and a half to four years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction on all charges except for the wanton destruction of property. For that, he was given two and a half years at the Berkshire County House of Correction.
The charges stem from house breaks in Washington between March 8, 2015 and August 9, 2015.
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, July 25.
Alysha Orvis, 27, of Savoy pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, and conspiracy to violate drug laws.
She was ordered to serve concurrent one-year sentences at the Hampden County House of Correction Chicopee Woman's Facility. The charge stems from a motor vehicle stop in North Adams on June 27, 2016.
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Wednesday, July 26.
Robert Jessamy, 36, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on two counts of conspiracy to violate drug laws to wit: trafficking in cocaine, two counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, two counts of illegal ownership of a firearm, two counts of possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card, and single counts of trafficking in cocaine, trafficking in heroin, conspiracy to violate drug laws to wit: trafficking in heroin, possession of oxycodone with intent to distribute - his second offense - conspiracy to violate drug laws to wit: possession of oxycodone with intent to distribute, armed career felon, receiving stolen property, and improper storage of a firearm.
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction without bail. The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in Pittsfield and the execution of a search
warrant at his home on May 17, 2017.
Bruce Lee Trudeau, 40, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of breaking and entering in the daytime, conspiracy to wit: breaking and entering a building in the daytime, misleading a police officer, larceny from a building, wanton destruction of property, and operating a vehicle with a suspended license.
He was released on personal recognizance. Trudeau is accused of breaking into a home in Pittsfield on May 9, 2017.
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Thursday, July 27.
Glen Chadwell, 44, of Lenox had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf on a single count of failure to register as a sex offender - his second offense.
He was released on personal recognizance. He is currently being held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on other charges.
Chadwell is accused of failing to register as a sex offender in Lenox on May 25, 2017.
Shaun Dufur, 30, of Adams had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of breaking and entering in the daytime, conspiracy to wit: breaking and entering a building in the daytime, larceny from a building, and wanton destruction of property.
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $5,000 bail. Dufur is accused of breaking into a home in Hancock on May 9, 2017.
Curtis McGirt, 41, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of home invasion, armed burglary, armed assault in a dwelling, breaking and entering in the nighttime, aggravated assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, assault and battery, malicious destruction of property over $250, and malicious destruction of property.
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction without bail. McGirt is accused of breaking into a home in Pittsfield and assaulting a 45-year-old woman on October 10, 2016.
Pittsfield Man Arrested On Kidnapping Charges In New York
NEW LEBANON, N.Y. — A Pittsfield, Mass. man was arrested for kidnapping by New York State Police on Thursday.
Police say Charles Tabon, 38, of Pittsfield, Mass. and Megan Vandeusen, 28, of New Lebanon, are both charged with kidnapping after allegedly holding a woman against her will in New Lebanon.
Police say troopers were dispatched to a home at about 12:50 a.m. for a report of a woman being held against her will. The investigation revealed that a woman was brought to the home from Pittsfield, Mass. and an altercation had taken place. The woman was allegedly "menaced with a handgun" and Tabon and Vendeusen were arrested.
Tabon is facing charges of kidnapping, criminal use of a firearm, criminal possession of a firearm, unlawful imprisonment, and menacing. Vandeusen is facing with kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment charges.
Both defendants were arraigned in the Town of Claverack Court and held in the Columbia County Jail without bail. They are scheduled to appear in New Lebanon Court on July 31.
Pittsfield Couple's Autopsies Show Trauma, Suicide
Updated: Wednesday, July 26, 2017 at 7 p.m.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Authorities have ruled that 39-year-old Celeste Kordana died from a blunt force trauma to the head. John Kordana, 53, died from asphyxiation and loss of blood from multiple superficial wounds.
John Kordana's injuries appear to be self-inflicted, according to District Attorney David Capeless' office. The autopsies were conducted on Wednesday by Associate Medical Examiner Robert Welton at the Holyoke Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
The couple was found dead inside their Harryel Street home on Monday afternoon after Police were asked to do a well-being check. Firefighters were called to force entry into the home at about 2:50 p.m.
The district attorney's office had said on Tuesday that there was no indication that a third party was involved.
The investigation is being conducted by members of the Pittsfield Police Department with the assistance of State Police Detectives assigned to the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office and troopers assigned to the Crime Scene Services Section.
Updated: Tuesday, July 25, 2017 at 4:45 p.m.
An autopsy has been scheduled for Wednesday morning. At this point, police say there is nothing to suggest a third party was involved in the death. But, authorities say all possibilities are still being considered as police continue investigating the circumstances.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police are investing the deaths of a city couple.
Police say the bodies of John and Celeste Kordana, 53 and 39, respectively, were found in their Harryel Street home on Monday.
The bodies are being transferred to the Holyoke Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to determine the cause of death, though the autopsies have not been scheduled.
According to the district attorney's office, officers were called to do a well-being check on the pair and upon arrival were unable to get into the home. At about 2:50 p.m., the Fire Department forced entry into the home, where the bodies were found.
The investigation is being conducted by members of the Pittsfield Police Department, state police assigned to the district attorney's office, and troopers from the Crime Scene Services Section.
Williamstown, North Adams Police Seek Reports of Stolen Jewelry
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Police are asking area residents to report recent losses of jewelry that may be connected to a North Adams woman who was arraigned on Wednesday.
Jessica Morgan, 30, of Gregory Avenue, was arraigned in Northern Berkshire District Court on one count of larceny over $250, Williamstown Police reported on Wednesday.
"On July 3, 2017, a Williamstown resident contacted the police department to report a significant amount of jewelry missing from her residence," the police news release read. "A subsequent investigation revealed that Morgan worked as a home health care worker in this home. It was later determined that jewelry matching the same description was pawned by Morgan.
"Unfortunately, a significant amount of the jewelry was later transferred and melted down prior to it being discovered missing."
Williamstown Police questioned Morgan in connection with the case, police said.
"This investigation prompted the report of similar larcenies from other area residences where Morgan worked," the police news release read. "A large amount of jewelry and property remain missing. The [Williamstown Police Department] is seeking public assistance with any additional reports or information regarding Jessica Morgan or missing or found jewelry."
Police ask anyone with information to contact either Sgt. Scott McGowan of the Williamstown Police at 413-458-5733 or Officer Josh Zustra of the North Adams Police at 413-664-4944.
"At this time, the investigation is continuing and at the conclusion, further criminal charges will be filed," McGowan said on Wednesday. "The majority of these crimes appear to be from April through July of 2017. However, I am also looking back as far as January of 2015."
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