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Accused Great Barrington Arsonist Committed To Mental Health Facility

Staff Reports

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A man who had set eight buildings and three motor vehicles in downtown Great Barrington was found not guilty by reason of insanity.

David Pixley Sr., 63, of Great Barrington was found not guilty by reason of criminal responsibility in Franklin Superior Court Friday on eight counts of attempting to burn a building, motor vehicle, structure or personal property and single counts of burning a dwelling house and burning a building.

Judge John Agostini allowed the state a motion to commit Pixley to a mental health facility.

Pixley was charged in connection of a June, 2011 arson spree when he allegedly set fire to Barrington Outfitters on Main Street and Lee Bank. He allegedly targeted the Shopper's Guide, Foster's Hardware, Toole Insurance Agency, Berkshire Block, Gypsy Joynt and the Tune Street building on Railroad Street with combustibles and flammable liquids but those were not lit on fire. Three vehicles in the Foster's parking lot had flammable liquid applied to them but were not burned.

The spree led police in search of a man wearing a dark-colored poncho and black North Face winter gloves. The next morning, Pixley was arrested after finding him in the T.D. Bank parking lot, allegedly trying to set yet another fire. He then fled the scene and was arrested at his home.

The investigation was conducted by members of the Great Barrington Police Department, the Office of the state Fire Marshal, Station Police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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