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Superior Court Briefs: June 14 - June 16

Staff Reports
Cases heard before Judge Maureen Hogan on Tuesday, June 14.
 
Michael Bell, 44, of Watervliet, N.Y. had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf on a single counts of assault and battery on a disabled person.
 
He was released on personal recognizance. Bell is accused of assaulting a student while working at Eagleton School between March 1, 2015 and March 31, 2015.
 
Jerrel Hall, 24, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute - his second offense - armed career felon, illegal possession of a firearm - his second offense - and possession of a firearm with a defaced serial number.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction without bail. The charges stem from the execution of an arrest warrant on May 23, 2016.
 
Tony Mejias, 35, of North Adams had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of trafficking in heroin and conspiracy to violate drug laws.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $25,000 bail. The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in North Adams on May 6, 2016.
 
Billy Joe Twing, 35, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of trafficking in fentanyl, possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute - his second offense- possession of marijuana with intent to distribute - his second offense - resisting arrest, failure to stop for a police officers, and operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license. 
 
He was released on $2,500 bail. The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in Pittsfield on March 26, 2016.
 
Cases heard before Judge Maureen Hogan on Wednesday, June 15.
 
Tony Mejias, 35, of North Adams pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute and operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license in connection with a motor vehicle stop in North Adams on September 3, 2015. He also pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute and conspiracy to violate drug laws in connection with a motor vehicle stop in North Adams on May 6, 2016.
 
He was ordered to serve a one-day sentence at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the possession of heroin with intent to distribute charge associated with the September incident. He was given concurrent three to four years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction on the possession of heroin and conspiracy to violate drug laws charges from May. He was given a concurrent one-day sentence on the motor vehicle charge.
 
Alexis Lopez, 23, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on seven counts of assault and battery on a disabled person, six counts of caretaker abuse on a disabled person, and a single count of assault and battery with serious bodily injury.
 
He was released on personal recognizance. Lopez is accused of assaulting five students while working at Eagleton School between January 1, 23015 and January 28, 2016.
 
Cases heard before Judge Maureen Hogan on Thursday, June 16.
 
Dylan Ducharme, 20, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on three counts of assault by means of a dangerous weapon, and single counts of assault and battery, illegal possession of a loaded firearm, possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card, and discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a building.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction without bail. The charges stem from an incident on Hull Avenue where Ducharme is accused of firing a gun into the air. He is also accused of assaulting several people. The incident occurred on May 14, 2016.
 
Derrick Saunders, 42, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf 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.
 
He was released on personal recognizance. Saunders is accused of assaulting a student while employed at Eagleton School between April 1, 2014 and April 30, 2014.
 
Martin Schmitt, 46, of Lenox had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on three counts of assault and battery on a disabled person, three counts of caretaker abuse on a disabled person, and single counts of assault and battery causing serious bodily injury and threat to commit a crime, to wit: assault and battery.
 
He was released on personal recognizance. Schmitt is accused of assaulting three students while working at Eagleton School between January 1, 2015 and December, 31, 2015.
 
Justin Senecal, 27, of Palmer had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on two counts of assault and battery on a disabled person, and a single count of caretaker abuse on a disabled person.
 
He was released on personal recognizance. Senecal is accused of assaulting a student while working at Eagleton School on July 11, 2013.
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Superior Court Briefs: May 31 - June 9

Staff Reports
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, May 31.
 
Ryan Garvey, 41, of Adams pleaded guilty to a single count of possession of heroin with intent to distribute.
 
Garvey was placed on one-year probation. The charge was in connection with the execution of a search warrant at his home on December 4, 2015.
 
Keith Larrabee, 22, of North Adams pleaded guilty to a single count of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon.
 
He was ordered to serve two and a half years at the Berkshire House of Correction. The charge stems from an incident in North Adams involving a 34-year-old man on April 24, 2015.
 
Shaun Letourneau, 34, of Dalton pleaded guilty to single counts of burning a building and burning wood or other property. He was ordered to serve concurrent two to three years at the Massachusetts Institution at Cedar Junction. Letourneau set fire to a storage shed and shrubbery in Dalton on September 12, 2015.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Wednesday, June 1.
 
Lameek Thomas, 25, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of a firearm without a firearm identification card - his second offense - and single counts of possessions of cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, and improper storage of a firearm. 
 
He was ordered to serve three to four years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction on the possession of cocaine charge and given concurrent time at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the other charges.
 
The charges stem from an execution of a search warrant at a home on Dalton Avenue on November 4, 2014.
 
A single count of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony was dismissed by the state.
 
Richard Holliman, 42, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to violate drug laws, and single counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, and possession of morphine with intent to distribute.
 
He was ordered to serve concurrent 609 days at the Berkshire County House of Correction. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant on Hamlin Street in Pittsfield on October 1, 2014.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Thursday, June 2.
 
Robert Brady III, 34, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute - his second offense - and conspiracy to violate drug laws.
 
He was released on $500 bail. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant on Burbank Street in Pittsfield on April 14, 2016.
 
Marcus James, 33, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute - his second offense - and conspiracy to violate drug laws.
 
He was released on $1,000 bail. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant on Burbank Street in Pittsfield on April 14, 2016.
 
Patrick Collins, 34, of Stamford, Vt. pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of suboxone - his second offense - and operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license - his second offense.
 
He was ordered to serve concurrent 90-day sentences at the Berkshire County House of Correction. The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in North Adams on November 13, 2014. 
 
A single count of conspiracy to violate drug laws was dismissed by the state.
 
Cases heard before Judge Maureen Hogan on Monday, June 6.
 
Joevany Santiago, 25, of Springfield had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf on a single count of manufacturing cocaine - his second offense.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $3,500 bail. The charge stems from the execution of a search warrant at 86 West Main Street in North Adams on April 15, 2016.
 
Cases heard before Judge Maureen Hogan on Wednesday, June 8.
 
Selvin Gonzalez-Castillo, 22, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of armed assault with intent to murder and aggravated assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $50,000 bail. Gonzalez-Castillo is accused of stabbing a 29-year-old man in Pittsfield on April 23, 2016.
 
Cases heard before Judge Maureen Hogan on Thursday, June 9.
 
Michelle Weed, 38, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, and operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license.
 
She was ordered to serve one and a half to two years in state prison on the possession of heroin charge and the other charge was placed on file. The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in Pittsfield on January 11, 2016.
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Great Barrington Firefighters Douse Blaze in Historic Railroad Street Block

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Firefighters battled a one-alarm fire late Thursday night that threatened to destroy a downtown landmark.

Fire Chief Charles Burger said firefighters responded just after 11 p.m. to Martin's Restaurant, 49 Railroad St., where they found fire in a first-floor kitchen of a two-story downtown block with attached exposures.

Police Officer Chad Shimmon was on the scene discharging an extinguisher through an open window, which helped slow the fire growth. The second-floor apartment was searched to verify it was unoccupied. The first engine on scene was able to quickly control the fire while additional crews checked for extension, ventilated and performed salvage operations.

Fire damage was limited to the first-floor kitchen, though there was smoke and heat damage throughout the restaurant. Second-floor tenants were able to return to their apartment after firefighters ventilated the residence.

The popular restaurant owned by Martin Lewis is open from early morning to late afternoon.

Twenty-one firefighters from Great Barrington responded to Thursday night's fire. The department was assisted on scene by the Lenox Fire Department's Rapid Intervention Team, Great Barrington Police and National Grid. Southern Berkshire Ambulance, along with the Fire Department's Support Group, were on scene providing firefighter rehab. Sheffield Fire covered Great Barrington's fire station.

"I am proud of the quick work done by our department last night," Burger said in a statement. "I would also like to thank all the agencies who assisted us. We were able to save a downtown landmark in Great Barrington."

The business is insured. The cause is under investigation, but is not considered suspicious.

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North Adams Police Investigate Report of Stabbing

Staff Reports

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. – Police shut down a portion of Church Street on Saturday morning to investigate an apparent stabbing incident.

North Adams Police answered a call around 1 a.m. from a woman near Church Street reporting that someone had been stabbed.

Nearly half an hour later, police received another call that there was a stabbing and the victim was at 181 Church St. and had sustained serious injuries. The victim was transported to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield.

State Police investigators tapped off 185-187 Church St. and 181 Church St. and investigated outside and inside of the properties throughout Saturday morning.

The street finally opened again at 1:20 p.m.

The incident is under investigation.

This story will be updated when more information becomes available.

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Structure Fire Closes Park Street in Adams; Four Families Homeless

By Tammy Daniels
iBerkshires Staff

Complete write-thru at 6 p.m.

ADAMS, Mass. — Firefighters from around Northern Berkshire County spent Friday afternoon battling a stubborn structure fire at 72 Park St.

Flames could be seen shooting out from under the roof of the building, which houses Carolyn's Tax Service on the first floor and four apartments on the top two floors, where several young children lived.

It took several dozen firefighters more than an hour to contain the blaze that started in a kitchen on the third floor. Fire Chief Paul Goyette described the smokey blaze as "95 percent contained" about 4 p.m., nearly three hours after it was first reported.

No one was injured in the fire but an Adams firefighter was overcome by heat and taken by ambulance to the hospital.

Park Street was closed to traffic and motorists were detoured at Hoosac and Center streets. Some mutual aid units began leaving about 5:30.

Goyette said the call came in as an alarm activation at about 1:15 p.m. and, when firefighters arrived, they found a fire on a stove on the third floor.

"That fire was extinguished but it appeared to enter the attic through the ductwork," he said.

The building was occupied at the time but Goyette did not know how many people were in the building. Everyone was evacuated from the four apartments, and the building searched. A second search was also done to verify no one was inside. Two cats were removed and treated at the scene with oxygen and a third was found safe after the fire was out.

Heavy smoke roiled from the roof line, occasionally blanketing the town's main street in a smokey haze. Bystanders watched the action from the sidewalks as the street filled with personnel and equipment from seven different departments: Adams, North Adams, Cheshire, Clarksburg, Dalton, Lanesborough and Williamstown. Yellow tape was strung along light posts and signs to keep people out of the way.

The Williamstown and Adams ladder trucks mounted a two-pronged water attack on the roof line and the attic of the three-story building, as flames licked out from the eaves.

North Adams and Adams ambulance services set up a rehab center on the lawn of the Adams Free Library to hydrate and cool firefighters rotated out from the action. State police and sheriff's deputies blocked the street from traffic.

"It took us a good hour to knock the fire down because we had to keep chasing," said Goyette. Above the attic, "we found three layers of attic plus we had to start opening up the roof. It was labor intensive. That was the reasoning for calling in a lot of mutual aid companies to get fresh people here to the staging area."

The temperature hovered around 80 degrees with an infrequent breeze. One firefighter at the base of the ladder truck was overcome by the heat and carefully removed by a swarm of firefighters and emergency medical technicians.

Carolyn and Thomas Chalifoux of Carolyn's Tax Service were on their way to their lake cabin in Vermont went they got the call in Bennington that the building was on fire.

"We turned around and came back," said Thomas Chalifoux, watching from the sidewalk. They were concerned about the computers and files in their offices, but Goyette said firefighters were able to cover everything with tarps.

"Things look good there, it doesn't look like they've lost anything," he said.

Other buildings nearby were emptied as well. Arlene Schneider of the Cutting Edge Salon in the building next door said she didn't know anything was going on until firefighters came in and told she had to evacuate.

Trevor Crombie, who bought the building also known as the Dawson Block in 2004, was at the scene.

A GoFundMe has been set up for one of the families displaced in the blaze. Holly Dix and Mike Burns and their three children were not home at the time but their cat was rescued. Another fundraising page has been set up for Marcus and Heather Moore and their two children.

Firefighters were tossing items out the attic, cutting open the roof and chasing hotspots by 4 p.m. The state fire marshal was being called in to the investigation and the building's occupants were not expected to be able to return. Goyette couldn't say what the damage was at this point. Or when the street would reopen.

"The Fire Department owns Park Street at this point."

 

 

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Emergency: 911
Adams 413-743-1212
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Dalton 413-684-0300
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Lanesborough 413-443-4107
Lee 413-243-2100
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West Stockbridge 413-232-7938
State Police  
Cheshire Barracks
413-743-
4700
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Shaftsbury, Vt., Barracks 802-442-3263

 



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