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Pittsfield Arraigns Second Suspect in Jones Shooting Death

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — One of the men suspected in the shootout that killed Asiyanna Jones was arraigned Monday on assault and firearms charges. 
 
Josaiah T. Bynum, 19, had not-guilty pleas entered on his behalf for single counts of armed assault with intent to murder, illegal possession of a firearm, rifle or shotgun, and of discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a building.
 
Bynum is one of three men being investigated for a shootout on Dewey Street on Oct. 2 that led to the death of Jones, 22. Jones was reportedly in a vehicle with another woman when shots rang out near Dewey and Linden streets around 11 p.m. 
 
Jones was struck in the head and taken to Berkshire Medical Center, then transported to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield. Her death was ruled a homicide the next day. 
 
Bynum was arrested on Sunday night at about 5 during a traffic stop on South Street. A second suspect, Justin D. Crawford, 20, was arrested Oct. 9 and police reportedly found a 9mm handgun in the sports utility vehicle he was in that was also believed to have been at the scene of Oct. 2's firefight, according to The Berkshire Eagle.
 
Police are still looking for Gary Linen, 36, who is believed to have returned fire the night of Oct. 2, including at the vehicle Jones was in, according to The Eagle. 
 
Judge Jacklyn Connly ordered Bynum to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction without bail; he is expected to be back in court for a pretrail hearing on Oct. 23. 
 
Jones was a graduate of Pittsfield High School and had been a child-care worker at the Berkshire Family YMCA and was recently employed at Hillcrest Educational Center.
 
The investigation was conducted by members of the Pittsfield Police Department, with assistance from the Berkshire County sheriff's office, and state police detectives assigned to the district attorney's office, members of the Berkshire Law Enforcement Task Force, and the State Police Crime Scene Services Section and Firearms Identification Section.
 
On Monday, Police also arrested James Cromartie, 31, of Pittsfield in relation to a completely separate shooting in 2016. 
 
Cromartie is accused of shooting James Dominguez III in the city-owned parking lot on Fenn Street on January 23, 2016. Police responded to 129 Fenn Street at 1:30 a.m. that morning to find Dominguez laying on the ground after being shot in the head. An autopsy confirmed the death a homicide.  
 
Mayor Linda Tyer praised the Police Department in making strides toward solving two separate homicides in the city.
 
"The hard work, tenacity, and perseverance of our Pittsfield police department and their law enforcement partners has resulted in several significant arrests being made in two deadly crimes that took place in our city. In the long arch of justice, there is the first line of defense and that's the excellence of the Pittsfield Police Department," Tyer said.
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Pittsfield Man Arrested For 2016 Murder

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A city man was arrested Monday night for the alleged murder of James Dominguez III last January.
 
The District Attorney's office said James Cromartie, 31, of Pittsfield was arrested on a murder warrant Monday night. On Tuesday, Cromartie had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf on a single count of murder in Berkshire Superior Court.
 
Judge Paul Vrabel ordered that Cromartie is held at the Berkshire County House of Correction without bail. He will return to court on Nov. 15.
 
Cromartie is accused of shooting Dominguez in the city-owned parking lot on Fenn Street on January 23, 2016. Police responded to 129 Fenn Street at 1:30 a.m. that morning to find Dominguez laying on the ground after being shot in the head. An autopsy confirmed the death a homicide. 
 
Now more than a year and a half later, Cromartie was taken into custody after a motor vehicle stop on Park Street around 4 p.m., according to police logs. When arrested, Cromartie was also allegedly in possession of cocaine. He is also facing a single count of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.
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Superior Court Briefs: October 12.

Staff Reports
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Thursday, October 12.
 
James Bernacchia, 25, of Beacon, N.Y. pleaded guilty to a single count of possession of heroin with intent to distribute.
 
He was given a one-year suspended sentence at the Berkshire County House of Correction and placed on one-year probation.
 
The charge stems from a motor vehicle stop in Pittsfield on September 26, 2016. A single count of disorderly conduct was dismissed by the state.
 
Roberto Mazzeo, 39, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of psilocybin mushrooms with intent to distribute, and receiving stolen property.
 
He was placed on one-year probation. The charges stem from an incident at his home on November 25, 2014.
 
Two counts of possession of a large capacity feeding device and single counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and improper storage of a firearm were dismissed by the state.
 
Derrick Saunders, 44, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to 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.
 
The charges were continued without a finding.
 
Saunders assaulted a student while working at Eagleton School between April 1, 2014 and April 30, 2014.
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Pittsfield Police Investigating Armed Robbery Of Nichols Package Store

Staff Reports

Police say these two men robbed Nichols Package Store on Monday.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police are asking for information regarding an armed robbery of Nichols Package Store early this week.
 
Police say that shortly before 10 p.m. on Monday night, two men displayed a gun in the store and assaulted the clerk.
 
The clerk's injuries were minor but the suspects took money from the cash register and fled on foot.
 
Both suspects are described as being 6-feet tall and wearing jeans. One of them had a thin build and was wearing a dark grey colored Nike sweatshirt. The other was stocky and was wearing a light grey Champion sweatshirt.
 
Both are described as light-skinned black men.
 
Police attempted to track the suspects that with a K9 but the track ended a short distance from the scene.
 
The robbery occurred just a few days after another city liquor store was held up.
 
Last Friday, George's Liquor Store was robbed by a suspect described as black, standing more than 6-foot tall and weighing approximately 200 pounds. The suspect was dressed in all black clothing, including a baseball cap, wearing eyeglasses and appeared to have some facial hair. In that case, the suspect also fled on foot after stealing an undisclosed amount of money and Police were unable to track him.
 
Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to contact the Pittsfield Police Detective Bureau at 413-448-9705. Tips can be left anonymously by telephone, Tip411 or via the Facebook page.
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Two Men Arrested in Great Barrington After Allegedly Showing Gun To Store Clerk

Staff Reports
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Two men were arrested Tuesday night after allegedly brandishing a gun to a convenience store clerk.
 
Police say Nathan Bona, 20, of Southfield is being charged with three counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, threat to commit a crime, and operating under the influence. Austin Whitney, 22, of Great Barrington is being charged with two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon.
 
At about 10 p.m. Tuesday night, police were called to Lake Mansfield for reports of shots fired. There, officers were told that two men, driving a pickup truck, had fired a handgun several times in the parking lot, striking a storage shed.
 
Police say minutes later a clerk at Cumberland Farms on Main Street reported that two men, also in a pickup truck, were causing a disturbance. When the clerk allegedly confronted the pair, one of them lifted his shirt to display the firearm. The men then fled the scene.
 
Officers located the suspected pickup truck and the pair were arrested. The firearm as not found, however, and police are actively looking for it. Police believe the suspects discarded it after the incident.
 
Great Barrington Police Sgt. Adam Carlotto and Officer Christopher Peebles are leading the investigation. Bona and Whitney were released on personal recognizance by a clerk magistrate Wednesday morning and are expected to be arraigned in Southern Berkshire District Court on Thursday.
 
"This is a great example if why it is important to call the police immediately when you see something suspicious. In this instance, we have two suspects who were being irresponsible with a firearm, and we were able to locate them within minutes of the first call," Chief William Walsh said. "Thankfully, citizens called the police and we were able to arrest the suspects before an innocent person was hurt as a result of their wanton and reckless conduct."
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