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Pittsfield Man Charged With Murder

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A city man has been charged in the fatal July 4 shooting of 39-year-old Paul E. Henry.
 
J.C. Chadwell, 39, of Seymour Street on Monday entered a plea of not guilty in Berkshire Superior Court on a single count of murder. Chadwell is accused of shooting Henry on John Street on July 4, 2017.
 
Police responded to a report of a shooting in the area of Durant Park around 11:30 on the night of July 4. Henry was pronounced dead by emergency medical technicians on the scene. An autopsy ruled the cause of death as a gunshot wound to the chest.
 
Judge Mark Pasquariello on Monday ordered Chadwell to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction without the right to bail. A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for March 14.
 
Chadwell was arrested on a warrant by police on Friday night. The shooting apparently was related to a dispute between the two men about several years' old debt. 
 
The investigation was conducted by members of the Pittsfield Police Department Detective Bureau with assistance from the Berkshire County Sheriff's Department, State Police detectives assigned to the District Attorney's Office, members of the Berkshire Law Enforcement Task Force and the Massachusetts State Police Firearms Identification Section.
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Superior Court Briefs: Feb. 5

Staff Reports
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Monday, February 5.
 
Jason Pennell, 29, of Holyoke pleaded guilty to a single count of possession of heroin.
 
He was ordered to serve 120 days at the Hampden County House of Correction. The charge stems from the execution of a search warrant in Williamstown on January 18, 2017.
 
A single count of conspiracy to violate drug laws was dismissed by the state.
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Superior Court Briefs: Jan. 29 - Jan 31.

Staff Reports
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Monday, January 29.
 
Devon Fitts, 35, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, and possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card.
 
He was ordered to serve concurrent 18-month sentences at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the drug charges. He was given a concurrent one-year sentence on the possession of ammunition charge.
 
The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant on Montgomery Avenue in Pittsfield on March 17, 2016.
 
Isaac Harris-El, 42, of Watervliet, N.Y. pleaded guilty to two counts of assault and battery on a disabled person, and two counts of caretaker abuse on a disabled person.
 
He was given a suspended one-year sentence at the Berkshire County House of Correction on placed on one-year probation on one count of assault and battery and one count of caretaker abuse. The other charges were continued without a finding for a year.
 
Harris-El assaulted two students while working at Eagleton School between August 1, 2014, and December 31, 2015.
 
Two counts of caretaker abuse on a disabled person and single counts of assault and battery causing serious bodily injury, assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, and assault and battery were dismissed by the state.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, January 30.
 
Charles Davis, 36, of Lanesborough pleaded guilty to a single count of assault and battery.
 
Davis was ordered to serve 385 days at the Berkshire County House of Correction. The charge stems from an incident involving a 48-year-old man in Pittsfield between December 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016. 
 
A single count of assault by means of a dangerous weapon was dismissed by the state.
 
Joseph Loftus, 37, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single count of kidnapping, armed robbery, larceny over $250, intimidation of a witness, and identity fraud.
 
He was ordered to serve two and a half years at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the intimidation of a witness charge. He was given two and a half years on the identity fraud charge. He was given one-year probation on the other charges.
 
The incident happened in Pittsfield on December 14, 2016 and involved a 53-year-old woman. A single count of fraudulent use of a credit card was dismissed by the state.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Wednesday, January 31.
 
Shaun Dufur, 30, of Adams pleaded guilty to single counts of breaking and entering a building, conspiracy, larceny from a building, and wanton destruction of property.
 
He was ordered to serve two and a half years at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the breaking and entering charge. He was two years on the other charges. He was sentenced to a total of four and a half years.
 
Dufur broke into a home in Hancock on May 9, 2017.
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Pittsfield Officer Cleared in Officer-Involved Shooting Death

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The district attorney has determined that Office Christopher Colello will not be charged with a crime in the shooting of Daniel Gillis in September.
 
Colello shot and killed 36-year-old Daniel Gillis on Taylor Street on Sept. 1, 2017. District Attorney David Capeless said on Wednesday that Colello "acted lawfully in defense of his fellow officers when Gillis suddenly charged at the officers while brandishing a knife."
 
"I have completed the investigation into the shooting death of Daniel Gillis on the afternoon on September 1, 2017, and I have concluded that there was no criminal behavior on the part of any of the officers of the Pittsfield Police Department. Specifically, I have determined that Officer Christopher Colello acted lawfully in defense of his fellow officers when Gillis suddenly charged at the officers while brandishing a knife," Capeless said in a statement.
 
"Clearly, this was an unfortunate situation which ended tragically. The entire incident developed within a short period of time and rapidly escalated when Gillis emerged from the house holding a knife to his throat and advanced upon officers despite their calls to drop the knife. When Gillis suddenly changed direction and charged at several officers, yelling at them, the situation changed from dangerous to life-threatening."
 
Capeless went on to say, "In this case, a cell phone video taken by a neighbor was quite helpful to the investigation, as it showed the incident shortly after Gillis emerged from the rear of the house and included the shooting. The investigation involved multiple, extended interviews of the many participants and witnesses, but the few seconds of the real-time capture of the event provided the most informative piece of the investigation."
 
Police responded that afternoon to a reported domestic incident. According to police, Gillis had initially barricaded himself in the house and was armed with a knife. He was said to be distraught and intoxicated, according to Capeless. Authorities said he exited the home and charged at officers while refusing to drop the weapon.
 
Colello shot the man seven times and Gillis was later pronounced dead at Berkshire Medical Center. The incident was the second officer-involved shooting involving Colello. He had previously shot a man in Dalton in 2010. It was also the city's second officer-involved shooting in 2017. In January 2017, 55-year-old Mark Marauszwski was shot by Officer Martin Streit after a police pursuit. Streit was cleared of any wrongdoing in that case.
 
The investigation of the Gillis incident was conducted by the state police detective unit assigned to the berkshire district attorney's office, assisted by the state police's Firearm Identification and Crime Scene Services sections, chemists assigned to the State Police Crime Laboratory, the Berkshire County sheriff's department and the Pittsfield Police Department.
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Great Barrington Firefighters Snuff Kitchen Blaze at Pizzeria


Fire damage was limited to areas on the first floor and a second-floor bathroom. 
GREAT BARRINGTON — The Fire Department extinguished a fire at Pizza House on State Road early Tuesday morning that severely damaged the business's kitchen and structure's first floor. 
 
"Our crews did an excellent job limiting the damage despite the challenges posed by this particular structure, which has been a fixture in town for decades," Chief Charles Burger said. "I'm extremely grateful that a tragedy was avoided this morning, and I'm hopeful that Pizza House will be able to rebuild and the residents will be able to return home soon."
 
Firefighters were dispatched to the 36 State Road business at about 3:30 a.m. for a report of a structure fire with tenants possibly trapped on the floor above. 
 
Upon arrival, firefighters observed heavy fire venting from the first-floor kitchen windows and smoke coming from the remainder of the building. Tenants were able to escape the building prior to firefighters reaching the scene, but there was still some uncertainty about whether or not a second apartment was occupied at the time the fire started. 
 
Firefighters made an aggressive interior attack and conducted a thorough search of the second floor while battling extreme heat and zero visibility inside the building. Their search confirmed that there were no tenants left inside, and crews were able to quickly knock down the flames. 
 
Once the fire was extinguished, firefighters remained on scene to extinguish hot spots. The firefighting effort was complicated by the fact that the building has been renovated and added onto multiple times during its lifespan, creating hidden areas that could potentially allow a fire to extend more easily. 
 
The Fire Department was assisted on scene by police, the Sheffield Fire Department and Southern Berkshire Ambulance.
 
Fire damage was limited to the first-floor kitchen and a second-floor bathroom, but there is smoke damage throughout the entire building. 
 
Residents in the upstairs apartments suffered from smoke inhalation that is not believed to be serious, and later went to the hospital on their own to seek medical treatment. 
 
Displaced tenants were able to make alternative arrangements for shelter. 
 
An investigation by the Fire Department and State Fire Marshal's Office is pointing to an electrical failure as the cause of the fire.
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