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Pittsfield Man Pleads Not Guilty To Murder Charge

Staff Reports

UPDATED: Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015 at 11:39 a.m.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Timothy Gill pleaded not guilty to a single count of murder in Berkshire Superior Court Tuesday.
 
Gill is being charged with murdering his wife Halena Irene Gill. Her body was found inside of her Madison Avenue apartment last week and an autopsy determined she died of strangulation.
 
Timothy Gill was arrested on Monday. On Tuesday Judge William Rota ordered him to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction without bail. Timothy Gill will appear in court next on January 14, 2016 for a probable cause hearing.

UPDATED: Monday, Dec. 14, 2015 at 4:35 p.m.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police have arrested 38-year-old Timothy Gill for allegedly murdering his wife last week.
 
Halena Irene Gill was found dead in her Madison Avenue apartment shortly after 8 a.m. Thursday. An autopsy performed over the weekend by Dr. Andrew Sexton, an associate medical examiner for the state, ruled the death homicide by strangulation.
 
On Monday, Police arrested Timothy Gill and charged him with a single count of murder. He is being held at the Berkshire County House of Correction without the right to bail. He is expected to be arraigned Tuesday morning in Central Berkshire District Court. 
 
According to her Facebook profile, Halena Irene Gill  studied criminal justice at Westfield State College and she once worked as a leadership coordinator at the United Way. She had just celebrated her 37th birthday on Nov. 17.
Her photos indicate she and Gill were married last year.
 


A picture of Halena Gill taken from her Facebook page. Police are asking anyone who had seen Gill in the last few days to contact them.

Original Post: Thursday December 10, 2015 at 5:19 p.m.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police are investigating the death of a Pittsfield Avenue woman.

Shortly after 8 a.m. Thursday Police found the body of Halena Irene Gill, 37, inside an apartment at 144 Madison Avenue. Police are now asking for information from anyone who may have seen Gill over the past several days.
 
An autopsy is expected to be conducted sometime Friday at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Holyoke to determine the cause of death.
 
According to her Facebook profile, she studied criminal justice at Westfield State College and she once worked as a leadership coordinator at the United Way.
 
She had just celebrated her 37th birthday on November 17. 
     

Pittsfield Investigating Four Fires; One Individual Detained

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Firefighters spent Tuesday morning fighting a series of what appears to have been intentionally lit fires in the Morningside neighborhood.
 
Deputy Chief Daniel Garner released a report saying four fires were started in the early hours and that an individual has been detained by police.
 
The morning started with Engine 2 responding to a fire inside of the apartment building at 40 Perrine Ave. at about 2:30 and was quickly followed by two outside rubbish fires on the nearby Plunkett Street and a fully involved vehicle fire on Kellogg Street.
 
"All fires were brought under control quickly and there were no injuries," Garner wrote.
 
The first fire was in a common hallway of Perrine and Engine 2 "made quick work and ensured extinguishment." Engine 3 was subsequently dispatched to 76 Plunkett St. for an outside fire.
 
"They found household rubbish ablaze in front of the residence. Subsequently, they found a similar fire in front of 72 Plunkett as well," Garner wrote.
 
"An area search found a fully involved motor vehicle fire in close proximity to the residence of 41/43 Kellogg Street."
 
All of the engines, Tower 1, and a command vehicle responded to the vehicle fire. Garner also reports that state and Pittsfield police have detained an individual in connection to the fires.
 
Pittsfield Police say Jeffrey Benoit, 26, of Hinsdale was arrested and will be arraigned in district court Tuesday.
 
The Fire Department and the Police Department are both investigating the incidents.
     

Pittsfield Man Shot During Altercation On Lincoln Street

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A man was shot in the early hours of Saturday morning after an altercation at Lach's Lounge.
 
According to police, officers were dispatched to the area of Pleasant and Lincoln Streets at about 1:28 a.m. Saturday morning for a large disturbance. As officers were en route, dispatch received reports of shots fired. Upon arrival, police found a large group and a victim with a gunshot wound in the abdomen. Police rendered aid until EMS arrived and transported the victim to Berkshire Medical Center.
 
Police say the injury does not appear to be life-threatening. Police said the altercation began at Lach's Lounge earlier in the morning. Witnesses told police that the victim, his girlfriend, and other friends and family were at Lach's Lounge earlier in the night. A verbal altercation took place there with the alleged shooter and his girlfriend at about 1:13 a.m.
 
The victim and his friends left Lach's Lounge and returned to their Lincoln Street home. The suspect and his girlfriend then arrived and engaged in further altercation. Police said the suspect fired three shots, striking the victim and then left in a silver vehicle.
 
No arrests have been made so far and the investigation is still active and ongoing, police said. Anyone with information is asked to contact Det. Timothy Koenig at 413-448-9705.
     

Three Utility Poles Fall As Result of Pittsfield Car Crash

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff
The gold car was seen by witnesses driving into the poles as it crossed the median.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A mid-day accident ripped out three utility poles from the center median of West Street.
 
Police refused to comment on the accident but witnesses at the scene said a gold Pontiac sped over the median near the intersection of West Street and Center Street.
 
The car then proceeded toward Park Square, taking out a total of three metal utility poles along the median, and ultimately was stopped when it crashed into parked cars parked along the westbound lane.
 
The Pontiac suffered damaged to both the front, hood, and roof. The driver's side door of a gray Toyota was caved in, as was the front bumper of another Toyota. All three vehicles were towed from the scene.
 
On scene, officers searched the Pontiac and pulled a number of items, which appeared to be drug paraphernalia, from the vehicle. The driver was placed in handcuffs and placed in the back of a cruiser.
 
City workers also responded to the scene quickly and a half-dozen trucks or so were on scene cleaning up the debris from the poles. Eversource was also on scene. The poles held streetlights and it is unclear what, if any, other utilities were supported by the poles.
     

Hazmat Team Finds No Threat In Package Delivered To Pittsfield Police

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff
The hazmat team found no dangerous materials in the package.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A hazardous materials team found no threat in a suspicious package sent to the police station.
 
The District 5 Hazmat Team responded to headquarters Wednesday morning shortly before 11 to investigate a FedEx-delivered package that contained a medical journal hinting of virus dissemination.
 
By noon, the team found the package was not a danger.
 
"Monday afternoon a package was delivered to the Pittsfield Police Department headquarters. It didn't cause any undue alarm but once the package had been opened, the staff realized there was some inconsistencies with the addresses — both the delivery address and the alleged address of the sender," Police Chief Michael Wynn said.
 
The package originated from what appears to be a fake address out of Colorado, according to police, and was addressed to a nonexistent receptionist with the Pittsfield Police Department.
 
The address for the Police Department was also wrong. Inside, responders found newspapers, periodicals and the medical journal. The concern was that it may contain a powered substance or virus, the chief said.
 
"Shoved in the bottom of the box was an excerpt from a medical journal on virus dissemination and transmission and given the climate and culture we are working in, we thought it merited the extra precaution," Wynn said.
 
The package sat in a vacant office in the station for two days before being examined. Wynn said because of that, the station was not evacuated. 
 
"They found nothing so we never suspended operations," Wynn said.
 
The Fire Department hosts the hazmat team, which is staffed by firefighters from both North Adams and Pittsfield. The Pittsfield Fire Department also sent an engine company to the scene. 
 
"The team is originally designed for hazmat response and, through the years, our role has evolved into handling these bio, nuclear and chemical possibilities," Fire Chief Robert Czerwinski said. "The team is well versed in these kinds of operations."
 
The team quickly examined the package on scene and found no reason for alarm. The team has a dedicated vehicle with a number of assets to investigate such a situation. The response was a Tier 1, which means limited resources were used for the examination.
 
"They were confident that nothing was in the package," Czerwinski said. 
     
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