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Three Arrested at Pipeline Protests in Sandisfield

SANDISFIELD, Mass. — Three people, including a Lenox man, were arrested on Wednesday at the site of the Tennessee Gas pipeline project by state police. A Connecticut man, whom troopers say tried to flee, was tased.
 
Two were arrested for refusing orders to move out of the way of construction vehicles and the third for allegedly assaulting two troopers who attempted to apprehend him after he trespassed on private property.
 
Max S. Bambery, 31, of Lenox, and Priscilla A. Lynch, 65, of Conway, were charged with disorderly conduct.
 
Jacob Renner, 24, of Sharon, Conn., was charged with two counts of assault and battery on a police office and single counts of trespassing, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct.
 
There have been constant protests and numerous arrests made at the site of the 3.8-mile pipeline expansion through Otis State Forest. Called the Connecticut Expansion Project, this section and quarter-mile piece in New York State will hook into another 8 miles in Hampden County and Connecticut. The company was given the go-ahead this week to begin flowing natural gas through the line.
 
According to state police, Renner and another moan trespassed onto 114 South Beech Plain Road at approximately 1 p.m. on Wednesday. The private property is near the project site that state police say was clearly marked "No Trespassing." The owner of the property has previously made clear that he does not want protestors on his property.
 
When asked to leave the property by a private security officer, Renner and the other man refused to do so. Troopers responded to the location and observed the men walking down the driveway on the property, behind the "No Trespassing" signs. 
 
Troopers observed that Renner had his hands in his pockets and say he refused to show his hands despite being asked to do so several times, raising concerns that he may have had a weapon. A trooper then instructed another trooper at the scene to place Renner under arrest, at which point Renner began running along South Beech Plain Road. When troopers ran after him and attempted to cut him off, he shoved two of them, knocking one off balance and the other to the ground, and then continued to struggle with them in an attempt to get free.
 
A trooper drew his issued electronic control weapon and, as Renner continued to struggle, deployed one set of probes into the suspect's back and buttocks in accordance with departmental policy. The deployment of the probes momentarily ended the struggle, but after several seconds the suspect regained mobility, pulled the probes free, and continued to struggle. 
 
Troopers then got the suspect under control and placed him in custody. During a search of Renner, a trooper located a knife on his belt. Renner initially refused to give his name and date of birth despite several requests to do so. He was evaluated by an ambulance crew and refused treatment. After being transported to the Berkshire County House of Corrections for processing, Renner was read his Miranda rights. He continued to refuse to provide his identity for several hours.
 
The other man who had trespassed onto the property with Renner fled into the woods and was not located.
 
At approximately 1:50 p.m., troopers responded to South Beech Plain Road near the project site where 30 to 40 protesters were blocking the road, shouting, and chanting. The protesters were blocking the path of a large, heavy-load dump truck. A trooper in her cruiser attempted to escort the truck through the protestors. Many of them moved out of the way, but several of them – some dressed in black robes and white masks – cut between the cruiser and the truck. 
 
The trooper got out of her cruiser and asked these protestors to move out of the road, and they all refused. The trooper believed these protestors were putting themselves in danger given their proximity to the huge Euclid model dump truck.
 
Other state police personnel responded and instructed the protestors to allow vehicles to move freely on the road, and noted that if they did not do so, they risked being arrested. Eventually, most protestors walked out of the road, but Bambery and Lynch refused to do so and were arrested. They were also brought to the Berkshire County jail, advised of their Miranda rights, and booked.
 
All three defendants had court appearances today.
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Vermont Driver Slams Into Parked Conversion Van

Staff Reports

The Grand Cherokee, right, just missed another parked car.
FLORIDA, Mass. — An errant driver set off a chain reaction when a late model Grand Cherokee knocked a camper van into garage. The report initially came in as a car into a building at 60 Mohawk Trail.
 
The accident occurred shortly before 6 p.m. on Tuesday when the westbound Jeep crossed into the eastbound lane and across a lawn to slam into the passenger side of the converted Chevrolet camper van. The collision knocked the back end of the parked van into the outside corner of the garage. It just missed another vehicle parked in the driveway.
 
The driver of the Jeep did not appear to have significantly slowed or applied the brakes because there were no skid marks or damage to the lawn. He was the only occupant in the Jeep, which is registered in Vermont.
 
No one was injured in the accident but the driver was taken to the hospital by North Adams Ambulance as a precaution. The Cherokee's airbags went off and it incurred significant front-end damage. It was not clear how damaged the van or the garage were. 
 
The incident is under investigation by state police who said there was nothing "suspicious" about the collision. Also responding was the Florida Fire Department and North Adams Police. 
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Superior Court Briefs: Oct. 24 - Oct. 26

Staff Reports
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, October 24.
 
Duane Carr, 29, of Bronx, N.Y. pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of oxycodone with intent to distribute, and distribution of oxycodone.
 
He was ordered to serve concurrent two-year sentences at the Berkshire County House of Correction. The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in Pittsfield on February 22, 2016.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Wednesday, October 25.
 
Reynaldo Camacho, 34, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, possession of oxycodone, and possession of cocaine in connection with a traffic stop in Pittsfield on August 2, 2017. He also had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on two counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, two counts of conspiracy to violate drug laws to wit: possession of heroin with intent to distribute, two counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, two counts of conspiracy to violate drug laws to wit: possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, and single counts of armed career felon, illegal ownership of a firearm, improper storage of a firearm, possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card, and possession of phencyclidine in connection with a motor vehicle stop and execution of a search warrant on his him on September 27, 2017.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $15,000 bail.
 
Joshua Honiker, 30, of Lee had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on two counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute - his second offense - possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, armed career felon, illegal ownership of a firearm, and possession of cocaine - his second offense.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $25,000 bail. The charges stem from a disturbance in Lee on September 5, 2017.
 
Clinton Jennings, 33, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of trafficking in heroin, conspiracy to violate drug laws to wit: trafficking in heroin, trafficking in cocaine, and conspiracy to violate drug laws to wit: trafficking in cocaine.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $20,000 bail. The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in Lanesborough on September 19, 2017.
 
Lionel Vega, 50, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on three counts of assault and battery on a family or household member, and single counts of strangulation or suffocation, threat to commit a crime to wit: murder, resisting arrest, and disturbing the peace.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction without bail. The incidents allegedly occurred in Pittsfield on August 5, 2017 and involved a 42-year-old woman.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Wednesday, October 26.
 
Michael Brazee, 27, of Pittsfield had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf on a single count of unarmed robbery.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $500 bail. Brazee allegedly took money from a clerk at Zuke's Soup and Variety on May 16, 2017.
 
Keith Larrabee, 22, of North Adams had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf on a single count of assault and battery in connection to an incident in North Adams on August 24, 2017 and involved a 42-year-old man. He also had not guilty pleas entered on three counts of assault by means of a dangerous weapon, and assault and battery.
 
The charges stem from an incident in North Adams involving three men - ages 17,23, and 38 - on September 19, 2017.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction without bail.
 
Keri McIntosh, 23, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on her behalf on single counts of trafficking in heroin, conspiracy to violate drug laws to wit: trafficking in heroin, trafficking in cocaine, and conspiracy to violate drug laws to wit: trafficking in cocaine.
 
She was ordered to be held at the Hampden County House of Correction on $2,500 bail. The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in Lanesborough on September 19, 2017.
 
Cory Moody, 28, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute - his second offense - manufacturing cocaine - his second offense - and conspiracy to violate drug laws to wit: distribution of cocaine.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $5,000 bail. The charges stem from an incident in Pittsfield on July 25, 2017. He is accused of conspiring with others to sell cocaine between June 10, 2017 and July 25, 2017.
 
Jonathan Therrien, 28, of Adams had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on five counts of intimidation of a witness, three counts of assault and battery on an family or household member, two counts of breaking and entering in the nighttime, two counts of larceny over $250, two counts of kidnapping, two counts of aggravated strangulation, two counts of violation of a restraining order, and single counts of strangulation or suffocation, breaking and entering in the daytime, aggravated assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, kidnapping of a victim under the age of 16, and larceny of a motor vehicle.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction without bail.
 
The incidents allegedly occurred in West Stockbridge, Lee, and Pittsfield between August 19, 2017 and September 29, 2019 and involved a 34-year-old woman, a 6-year-old child, and a 73-year-old man.
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Superior Court Briefs: Oct. 16 - Oct. 19

Staff Reports
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Monday, October 16.
 
Kurt Vosburgh, 53, of North Adams had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of assault with intent to rob and assault and battery on a pregnant victim.
 
He was released on $1,000 bail. The charges stem from an incident in North Adams on June 9, 2017 and involved a 38-year-old woman.
 
Devyn Banister, 24, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to a single count of motor vehicle homicide while under the influence of alcohol and operating negligently.
 
He was ordered to serve three and a half to seven years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction. It is recommended that the sentence is served at the Berkshire County House of Correction.
 
Banister was operating a motor vehicle on West Housatonic Street in Pittsfield on December 8, 2016 which struck 74-year-old Arthur Meyrick. Meyrick died on January 28, 2017 from injuries sustained in the accident.
 
A single count of motor vehicle homicide while under the influence of drugs and operating negligently was dismissed by the state.
 
Robert Donnelly III, 34, of North Adams had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of possession of heroin - his second offense - possession of cocaine with intent to distribute - his second offense - and possession of a Class E substance.
 
He was released on $1,000 bail. The charges stem from an incident in North Adams on August 14, 2017.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, October 17.
 
Simone Farnum, 39, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on her behalf on single counts of distribution of heroin - her second offense - conspiracy to violate drug laws to wit distribution of heroin, distribution of cocaine - her second offense - and conspiracy to violate drug laws to wit distribution of cocaine.
 
She was released on personal recognizance. The charge stems from the sale of heroin and cocaine in Pittsfield on August 17, 2017.
 
Patrick Wright Jr., 36, of North Adams had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf on a single count of unarmed robbery. 
 
He was released on $1,000 cash or surety bail. Wright is accused of taking money from a 37-year-old woman in North Adams on August 22, 2017.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Wednesday, October 18.
 
Gregory Frye, 45, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of illegal possession of a firearm - his second offense - and armed career felon.
 
He was ordered to serve six to nine years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction on the armed career felon charge and given concurrent five to seven years on the other charge.
 
Frye was in possession of a firearm when he was arrested in Williamstown for a parole violation on January 9, 2017. A single count of illegal possession of a loaded firearm was dismissed by the state.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Wednesday, October 19.
 
Tracey Santiago, 28, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiracy to violate drug laws, two counts of distribution of heroin, and a single count of possession of heroin with intent to distribute.
 
She was ordered to serve 225 days - time served - of a two-year sentence at the Berkshire County House of Correction and placed on two-years probation.
 
Santiago sold heroin and conspired with others to sell heroin in Pittsfield between February 27, 2017 and March 8, 2017.
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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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