Superior Court Briefs: Feb. 22-25
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, Feb. 22.
• Travis G. Bateman, 35, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of distribution of cocaine and manufacturing cocaine.
Agostini ordered that he serve concurrent 3 1/2- to five-year state prison sentences at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction on both charges.
The charges stem from the sale of cocaine in Pittsfield on April 20, 2009, and the execution of a search warrant at a home in Pittsfield on July 17, 2009.
The investigation was conducted by members of the Berkshire County Drug Task Force.
• Aaron Provencher, 36, of New Windsor Road, Hinsdale, had not-guilty pleas entered on his behalf on three counts of dissemination of visual material of a child in a state of nudity or sexual conduct and 12 counts of knowingly possessing visual material of a child depicted in sexual conduct.
He was released on personal recognizance. The incidents are alleged to have occurred in Hinsdale between November 10, 2009, and December 1, 2009.
The investigation was conducted by state police detectives assigned to the district attorney's office.
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Wednesday, Feb. 23
• Adam Smith, 31, of Second Street, Pittsfield, had not-guilty pleas entered on his behalf for single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute (second offense), manufacturing cocaine (second offense), possession of methadone with intent to distribute (second offense), possession of marijuana with intent to distribute (second offense), four counts of drug violations in a school zone and possession of ammunition without a firearm indentification card.
He was ordered held in the House of Correction on $100,000 bail. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant at his home on December 31, 2010.
• Gregory J. Mathews Jr., 23, of Second Street, Pittsfield, had not-guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of possession of heroin, of methadone and of marijuana, each with intent to distribute; one count of manufacturing cocaine; four counts of drug violation within a school zone and single count of possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card.
He was ordered held at the House of Correction with $2,500 bail.
The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant at his home on December 31, 2010, and the investigation was conducted by the Pittsfield Police Department.
• Christopher C. Mead, 28, and Elizabeth J. Mead, aka Elizabeth J. Rogers, 32, both of East Street, Pittsfield, both pleaded guilty to one count of possession of heroin.
Each was ordered to pay a $500 fine. The charge stems from a motor vehicle stop in Pittsfield on July 26, 2010.
• Jeffrey A. Williamson, 47, had not-guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of distribution of cocaine and possession of cocaine, both second offenses.
He was ordered held at the House of Correction on $5,000 cash or $50,000 surety bail.
It is alleged that Williamson sold cocaine on December 6, 2010, and was in possession of cocaine with intent to sell the drug when he was arrested on December 7, 2010. The incidents are alleged to have occurred in Pittsfield.
All information provided by the district attorney's office.
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Ex-Pine Cobble Head Faces Child-Porn Charges
|David B. Harris|
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A city man and former headmaster of Pine Cobble School in Williamstown was arraigned Monday morning in Northern Berkshire District Court on child pornography charges.
David B. Harris, 66, of Marion Avenue, pleaded not guilty to possession of child pornography and dissemination of child pornography. Bail was set at $2,500 and Harris was released. The case was continued to Aug. 25 for a bindover hearing. More charges are expected to be filed.
Harris left Pine Cobble in 2000 and was hired as head of school for the Cambridge Montessori School, a private school for children from preschool to ninth grade
According to the district attorney's office, the charges resulted from a two-month investigation that culminated in the execution of a search warrant on Sunday at his home.
The North Adams Transcript reported Monday that state police said they found a laptop with links to pornographic sites featuring young boys, and 10 USB drives, at least one of which contained more than 40 videos that appear to be pornographic.
In a letter posted on the Cambridge school's website, Webster O'Brien, president of the board of trustees, said Harris has been immediately suspended without pay and that the school will commence a search for an interim head of school for the coming year. (The letter can be found here, too.)
|While we can honestly state that we have had no reason to suspect this behavior, and we respect individuals' privacy, these charges leave us no option but to immediately suspend David without pay until the Board of Trustees has enough information to make a final decision.|
O'Brien said trustees are "fully confident that these issues reside in David's home in North Adams" and have not affected the Cambridge school.
Harris spent his weekends in North Adams and weekdays living in Cambridge.
He has more than 40 years of experience in education and is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. He was headmaster of Pine Cobble from 1989 to 2000; Nicholas M. Edgerton, who replaced him, left earlier this spring. Harris has been headmaster at two other private schools, Upland Country Day School in Kennett Square, Pa., and Eagle Hill School in Lloyd Harbor, N.Y., according to his biography listed on the Cambridge school site. He has sat on numerous educational boards and is a trustee of the Kildonan School in Amenia, N.Y.
Harris founded a consulting firm in 2004 to aid in the placement of gifted or underachieving students to schools that fit their needs but the site, www.schoolsolve.net, does not appear to have fully launched and the domain is for sale. A bio for the site lists Harris at that time as a corporator for Northern Berkshire Health Systems and a member of the North Adams Regional Hospital Ethics Committee; he is no longer listed as a corporator at NBH.
(Update, July 21: Northern Berkshire Healthcare tells us that Harris was a lay member of the Ethics Committee from 1997 to 2002. He is not a corporator and has no current links to the hospital.)
The investigation was conducted by state police detectives assigned to the Berkshire district attorney's office, with assistance from the Massachusetts and New York Internet Crimes Against Children Task Forces, state police detectives assigned to the Middlesex district attorney's office and investigators assigned to the New York State attorney general's office.
From the Editor: Because of the sensitive nature of these allegations, we'll be scrutinizing any comments posted here. Any attempts at incitement to violence, smutty remarks and distasteful comments will be removed immediately. Keep it clean, people.
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