PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Three suspects pleaded not guilty on Monday morning to murder charges stemming from the discovery of the bodies of three Pittsfield men, first reported missing Aug. 28.
The arraignment followed an announcement on Sunday that the remains of David Glasser, Robert Chadwell and Edward Frampton, were found in what was described as a "burial pit" at an undisclosed location on Saturday.
District Attorney David Capeless answers questions outside Berkshire Superior Court on Monday after three men were arraigned on a triple homicide.
Media from around the region joined a Central Berkshire District Court room packed full of friends and family of both defendants and victims. Defendants David Chalue and Roy Gutfinski aka (Caivus Velvois) were arraigned first, around 11 a.m. Chalue is represented by attorney Leonard Cohen, while Gavin Reardon was appointed defense for Gutfinski. Adam Lee Hall, represented by William Rota, was arraigned last around 11:30.
All three defendants were ordered held without bail and without prejudice at the request of District Attorney David F. Capeless and the agreement of lawyers for the defense. Trial dates for all three were set for Oct. 12.
Defendants were transported into the District Court building amidst a crowd of nearly a dozen security personnel in plainclothes in addition to the usual court security and police presence.
After the arraignment, Capeless spoke to reporters briefly about what his office was doing to allay the public's concerns about safety in the aftermath of these events.
"We're asking anyone to please come forward with any information about the case ... We are making every effort to investigate and prosecute this case, that's what we're doing."
When asked what his office had been able to learn about the Hells Angels club, of which Adam Lee Hall is known to be a member, with respect to this case, Capeless said, "I'm not going to comment on that at all," cutting off all questions abruptly.
Defense attorney William Rota maintained that he knew almost nothing about the case yet, but did say he saw no reason for citizens to become alarmed about their own safety.
"No community is without its potential for violence. This is not a 'stranger' crime," he said, acknowledging that the victims and his client knew each other. "It doesn't make the area any more or less safe."
Some relatives of victim Robert T. Chadwell expressed frustration after the arraignment with what some of them perceived as a failure on the part of authorities to protect Glasser as a witness against Hall, despite stated fears of retaliation.
One family member, who identified herself as Yvette, said she felt that fears of retaliation by Hall or associates of his were not taken seriously by police. "Pittsfield is just not equipped for this. Pittsfield failed these men."
Capeless, at Sunday's press conference, said precautions were made to keep Glasser safe that were in line with witness's wishes.
Ongoing search of several locations, including the Cloverdale Road home of Gutfinski and that of Chalue on Madison Avenue, took place throughout the day on Monday as neighbors and members of the media looked on.
Trial will begin for each of the three suspects at Berkshire Superior Court on Oct. 12.
Three men are facing murder charges after police say they have recovered the bodies of David Glasser, Edward Frampton and Robert Chadwell.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The bodies of the three men who have been missing since Aug. 28 were found on Saturday and police have arrested and charged three others with their murder.
District Attorney David Capeless said Adam Lee Hall, 34, of Pittsfield, David Chalue, 44, of Springfield and 31-year-old Caivus Veiovis, also known as Roy Gutfinski, of Pittsfield each have been charged with three counts of murder, three counts of kidnapping and three counts of intimidation of a witness.
They will be arraigned in Central Berkshire District Court on Monday.
District Attorney David Capeless is asking anybody with information about the three men that were charged with murder to contact the Pittsfield Police Department.
Police have been searching for the three men — David Glasser, 44, Edward Frampton, 58, and Robert Chadwell, 47 — since the Sunday that Tropical Storm Irene blew through the Berkshires. Glasser was a witness in a pending case against Hall when the three went missing from their Linden Street apartment.
"Based on the information that we have at this point, I am confident that our worst fears for David Glasser, Edward Frampton and Robert Chadwell have been realized," Capeless said at a press conference on Sunday. "This had to do with Glasser being a witness in a pending criminal case. Unfortunately we believe that Frampton and Chadwell were in the wrong place at the wrong time."
Police have obtained search warrants for five locations and two motor vehicles, Capeless said. The bodies were being recovered from a burial site within Berkshire County — Capeless would not reveal the exact location — on Sunday and will be sent to the chief medical examiner in Boston for autopsy.
Capeless is also asking the public to contact the Pittsfield Police Department with any information about the three men charged with the murders while police continue to dig for evidence.
"I say to the general public that you, too, can achieve justice. If you have any information about these three men who have been charged in connection with this crimes, please come forward," Capeless said.
Because of the ongoing investigation, Capeless was tight-lipped about the circumstances around the crimes. Law enforcement has been searching for the men for the last 12 days, including in the Pittsfield State Forest last week.
Glasser was scheduled to testify against Hall, a Hells Angel member, on kidnapping, assault, intimidation, extortion, and cocaine distribution charges this month.
That case started with a dispute between Hall and Glasser. Hall accused Glasser of stealing an automobile part from him in 2009 and then allegedly beat Glasser with a baseball bat. Later, Hall was accused of trying to frame Glasser for a robbery to prevent him from testifying against him. The case against Hall was postponed after Glasser went missing.
"We intend to prosecute it and I expect that we will join these cases involving the murder, kidnapping and intimidation along with all the other charges at are pending," Capeless said.
Shortly after the Glasser went missing, Hall was arrested and charged with extortion and child pornography charges and held on $1 million bail.
Veiovis and Chalue are not believed to be members of the Hells Angels, Capeless said.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Rumors abound as tight-lipped authorities continue to investigate the disappearance of three men missing from Pittsfield since Aug. 28. David Glasser, Robert Chadwell and Edward Frampton have not been seen since late Aug. 27.
Following the extensive search of Pittsfield State Forest this weekend through Monday, the investigation has turned to repeated interviews and questioning of neighbors of the missing men and associates of Hells Angel officer Adam Lee "Leo" Hall, whose prosecution Glasser is considered to be a key witness for.
Meanwhile, unsubstantiated but persistent rumors that one or more dead bodies were recovered during the search have circulated since Monday. Variations that one, two, or all three bodies were discovered have been repeated to this reporter by more than a dozen people in different areas of Pittsfield.
Caterer Ed Lyons, who owns a cabin at Ponderosa Pine Camp Ground, very near to the area blocked off on Potter Mountain Road during the massive search, said, "The gossip going around here is they found them dead."
Jim Sweener of Pittsfield reported seeing an apparently abandoned car being towed by Sayer's Auto Wrecking out of the State Forest area during the police search on Sunday.
"It was a Ford Festiva, maybe around 1997 or 1998, green and black," said Sweener, "No plates on it."
Pittsfield Police have not responded to inquiries about a possible relationship between this car and the case of the missing men.
The rumors, however unsubstantiated, seem to reflect a growing feeling that foul play may be involved. Speculation has abounded about the possible connection between Glasser's role as a key witness in the prosecution of Hall, of Peru, who has been in custody since the afternoon of Aug. 28, and the disappearance of Glasser and his two friends.
While police and Berkshire County District Attorney David Capeless have been reticent to comment on this possibility in the press, some sources close to the missing men seem convinced that something tragic has taken place.
One of them is Robert Chadwell's brother Lester, also of Linden Street, who told The Berkshire Eagle on Monday, "We'll never hear from them again, and you can quote me on that."
Chadwell told iBerkshires he did not recognize the description of the recovered Ford from State Forest as belonging to any of the three men, nor anyone else he could think of that might be related to the case.
When asked if he knew of any frequent hangouts or spots the missing men might have been around the time they were last seen, Chadwell indicated that they tended to stick close to home. "From over there to over here," he said, indicating the apartment at 254 Linden to his own address across the street, "That's about it."
General consensus among other neighbors of the missing men, who declined to provide their names, agree that there would have been some word from or sign of one of the trio, "unless something very bad happened," as one Linden Street resident phrased it.
No neighbors, however, have publicly reported seeing anything either the night of Aug. 27 or the morning of Aug. 28 that offers any clues to the missing men's whereabouts. Police reported that the apartment at 254 Linden St. showed no sign of a struggle, though cell phones said to belong to them were found at the premises.
David Glasser is thought to be a key witness against Hall.
Despite the fact that Hall, the reputed sergeant at arms for the Berkshire County Hells Angels, has not been officially named as a suspect, a significant amount of time and attention has been given by investigators to establishing Hall's activities leading up to the date the three men went missing.
Two individuals, who also wished not to be identified, say they had been questioned multiple times since Friday by police and detectives attached to the case about their relationship to Hall and knowledge of his whereabouts.
"That's all they asked about," said one young woman who was questioned on repeated occasions, referring to "Leo," aka Hall. "When I'd seen him, where he'd been, who he'd been with. They said they'd pulled his phone records and were putting it together."
She told iBerkshires that as far as she knew, the dispute between the missing Glasser and Hall began when Glasser stole a car part from him in 2009. Hall then allegedly lured the man to his home in Peru, where he proceeded to beat him with a baseball bat. "It's just been escalating since then."
"[Capt.] Barry and the other detectives wanted to know everything I could tell them about Hall, when I'd seen him, if I knew this person or that person seen with him," said another Pittsfield man questioned. "The whole case seems to be about him now."
Hall is currently being held without the right to bail for 60 days at the Berkshire County Jail & House of Correction. He was arraigned Tuesday on new charges of extortion and child pornography, while his trial for previous drug and assault charges begins next week. He is also facing charges of kidnapping, witness intimidation, and with trying to frame witness Glasser with a fictitious crime.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Pittsfield Police say they recovered the body of an elderly man who they believe is 61-year-old Francis Rocca, an Alzheimer’s patient who left his Francis Avenue home on July 13.
Police said the body was discovered early Thursday afternoon with the help of a specially trained corpse-sniffing dog in a heavily wooded area off Turner Avenue near the west branch of the Housatonic River.
Police were waiting for an official ID on the body but based on clothing and jewelry found on the body, investigators believe the dead man is Rocca. An autopsy is scheduled for Friday at the state medical examiner's office in Holyoke. Police say the death does not appear suspicious and indicated Rocca had been dead for some time.
Rocca, a carpenter and a veteran, has been suffering from Alzheimer's for two years. He reportedly spit out his medication on the night he left his home. Police were also hoping to come upon Robert DeFreest with the help of the dog. DeFreest, a homeless man, hasn't been seen since June 2009.
SHAFTSBURY, Vt. — State police are seeking information on two teenage sisters who have been missing since Thursday from their home at 16 Cory Drive.
Kasey C. Bezio, 16, and Kayla L. Bezio, 17, were last seen on BenMont Avenue in Bennington.
Kayla is 5-foot-7, 140 pounds, with brown eyes and black hair, and has braces and a pierced nose. Kasey is 5-foot-6, 130 pounds, with blue eyes and blonde hair.
The Vermont State Police are encouraging anyone with information regarding these missing juveniles to contact the barracks. The teens are under age 18 and by state law are considered juveniles. Anyone providing a place for the juveniles to live is a crime of sheltering or harboring a runaway.
Anyone with information on the girls is asked to contact Detective Sgt. Helaine Gaiotti at the Shaftsbury barracks at 802-442-5421.