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Charge of Leaving the Scene Dropped in Fatal Adams Incident

Staff Reports
ADAMS, Mass. — Prosecutors have dropped a charge of leaving the scene of fatal accident lodged against a local businessman.
 
Instead, David I. Sookey Jr. had not-guilty pleas entered on his behalf on Monday in Berkshire Superior Court in Pittsfield for a single count of misleading, impeding and obstructing a police investigation.
 
Sookey, 61, allegedly ran over 85-year-old Theresa Marby on Feb. 16 when he exited his parking spot next to the Oasis Liquor Store on Dean Street. He told police at the time that he did not see Marby and thought he'd hit a pothole before leaving the area. Police allege that he provided misleading information related to his knowledge about the events of that day.
 
The single count of leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, death resulting, which he was arraigned on in February, will be dismissed in Northern Berkshire District Court in the near future, according to the district attorney's office. 
 
Sookey appeared before Judge Mark Mason on Monday and was released on $10,000 bail.
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Superior Court Briefs: June 12 - June 13

Staff Reports
Cases heard before Judge Mark Mason on Tuesday, June 12.
 
Lemond Grady, 36, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of unarmed robbery and assault and battery on a person age 60 or older.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $1,000 cash or $10,000 surety bail. Grady is accused of taking money from the Pizza House on Tyler Street in Pittsfield on March 28, 2018 and assaulting the 63-year-old employee working there.
 
Luis Valle, 34, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of armed robbery while masked and assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon. 
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $25,000 bail. Valle is accused of robbing the clerk at the Gulf Station on Wahconah Street in Pittsfield on February 17, 2018.
 
Danielle Hoisington, 37, of Pittsfield had a not guilty plea entered on her behalf on a single count of unarmed robbery.
 
She was ordered to be held at the Hampden County House of Correction Chicopee Woman's Facility on $50 bail. She is currently being held without bail on other criminal matters.
 
Hoisington is accused of taking money from the Pizza House on Tyler Street in Pittsfield on March 28, 2018.
 
Cases heard before Judge Mark Mason on Wednesday, June 13.
 
Melyza Rojas, 25, of Springfield had not guilty pleas entered on her behalf on single counts of trafficking in cocaine, possession of heroin with intent to distribute, and conspiracy to violate drug laws.
 
She was ordered to be held at the Hampden County House of Correction Chicopee Woman's Facility on $6,5000 bail. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant in Williamstown on March 14, 2018.
 
James Yeaman, 64, of Lee admitted the facts of his case were sufficient to find him guilty on two counts of intimidation of a witness and a single count of accessory after the fact to wit: assault and battery on a disabled person.
 
The charges were continued without a finding for one year, he was ordered to perform 20 hours of community service work and pay $500 in court fees.
 
The incidents occurred while Yeaman was employed by Eagleton School between June 26, 2013 and December 31, 2015.
 
Philip Baruch Jr., 24, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of illegal possession of a large capacity weapon, illegal ownership of a firearm, possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card, and improper storage of a large capacity firearm.
 
He was released on $500 cash or $5,000 surety bail. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant on March 15, 2018.
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Two Men Arrested In Connection To Shooting In Pittsfield

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Two men were arrested after a shooting on Elm Street.
 
Police say Trevor Pemble and Marchenne Hanson were each charged with single counts of assault and battery by discharging a firearm and discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling. Hanson is also being charged with a single count of unlicensed possession of a firearm.
 
Police responded to the area of 70 Elm Street Friday at about 6 p.m. after a ShotSpotter notification. At the same time, dispatch received a number of calls from the neighborhood reporting a shooting.
 
At the scene, two men were discovered to have sustained gunshot wounds. Officers rendered aid to the men and they were transported to Berkshire Medical Center.
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Superior Court Briefs: May 30 - June 7

Staff Reports
Cases heard before Judge Maureen Hogan on Wednesday, May 30.
 
Raekwan Jackson, 22, of Springfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, and unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.
 
The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in Pittsfield on March 21, 2018. 
 
Cases heard before Judge Mark Mason on Wednesday, June 6.
 
William Fiske III, 29, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of breaking and entering in  the daytime, assault by means of a dangerous weapon, larceny from a building, assault and battery, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, vandalize property, operating a motor vehicle with a suspended  license, and  failure to stop for a police officer in relation to an incident in Pittsfield on March 23, 2016 and  involved a 56-year-old man and two women, ages 22 and 24.
 
He was ordered to serve 729 days, time served, at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the charges of breaking and entering a building in the daytime, assault by means of a dangerous weapon, and larceny from a building charges. He was given concurrent six-month sentences on the assault and battery, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, and vandalize property changes. The others were placed on file.
 
Single counts of armed assault with intent to murder, violation of a restraining order, assault and battery, and threat to commit a crime were dismissed by the state.
 
Fiske also pleaded guilty three counts of assault and battery on a correction officer and a single count of threat to commit a crime in connection with an incident at the Berkshire County House of Correction on May 5, 2016. He was ordered to serve concurrent six-month sentences on those charges.
 
Christine Bradley, 55, of Pittsfield had a not guilty plea entered on her behalf on a single count of trafficking in oxycodone. She was released on personal recognizance. 
 
The charge stems from a motor vehicle stop in Pittsfield on April 13, 2018.
 
Antonio Hernandez, 27, of North Adams had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of manufacturing cocaine, conspiracy to violate drug laws, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, illegal ownership of a firearm, possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card, and improper storage of a firearm.
 
He was released on $5,000 bail. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant at his home on March 2, 2018.
 
Brittany Sanders, 32, of Pittsfield had a not guilty plea entered on her behalf on a single count of trafficking in oxycodone. She was released on personal recognizance. 
 
The charge stems from a motor vehicle stop in Pittsfield on April 13, 2018.
 
Cases heard before Judge Mark Mason on Thursday, June 7.
 
Isaac Harris-El, 43, of Watervliet pleaded guilty to a single count of assault and battery on a disabled person. 
 
He was given a one-year suspended sentence at the Berkshire County House of Correction and placed on one-year probation. Harris-El assaulted a student while employed by Eagleton School between March 1, 2015 and March 31, 2015. 
 
A single count of intimidation of a witness was dismissed by the state.
 
Lindsay Lancto, 28, of West Stockbridge had not guilty pleas entered on her behalf on two counts of illegal ownership of a firearm, two counts of improper storage of a firearm, two counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, illegal possession of a large capacity weapon, improper storage of a large capacity firearm, possession of a large capacity firearm durin the commission of a firearm, illegal possession of a large capacity feeding device, and possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card.
 
She was released on $1,000 bail. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant at Pebble Street in North Adams on February 1, 2018.
 
Jamel Nicholson, 29, of  Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of armed career felon, illegal possession of a firearm, illegal possession of a loaded firearm, and possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card.
 
He was released on personal recognizance. The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in Cheshire on February 28, 2018.
 
Noel Torres, 29,of North Adams had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on two counts of improper storage of a firearm, two counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute - his second offense - possession of cocaine, illegal possession of a firearm - his second offense - illegal possession of a large capacity weapon, improper storage of a large capacity firearm, possession of a large capacity firearm during the commission of a felony, possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card, illegal possession of a large capacity feeding device, and armed career felon.
 
He was released on $2,500 bail. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant at his home on February 1, 2018.
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Pittsfield Home on Highland Avenue Destroyed By Fire

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff

Lanesborough resident Brian Johnson happened to be driving in the area when the fire began. He shared his photos of the blaze with iBerkshires.com. 
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Fire destroyed a city couple's Highland Avenue home Friday afternoon.
 
Deputy Chief Andrew Stephenson said a passerby noticed the outside of the home on fire at about 3:30 and called 911. Upon arrival, firefighters found the exterior on fire.
 
"The exterior of the house, the left side, was pretty heavily involved in fire. It was obvious the fire started on the outside of the house. While crews were here, it burned into the second floor through the window. It burned up the wall, through the window, burned up to the roofline, and got up into the attic," Stephenson said.
 
Stephenson said it isn't known exactly what caused the fire but investigators have pinpointed the origin and are narrowing in on a cause. The owner was working in a woodshop in the rear of the property at the time and the house was out of his view when the fire started.
 
Neither occupant was injured in the blaze and firefighters were able to rescue two cats. However, a third cat perished in the fire. 
 
Stephenson said the homeowners declined assistance from the Red Cross and will find alternative housing on their own. He said the home suffered heavy damage and is likely considered beyond repair.
 
The department first responded with three engine companies, a ladder truck, and a deputy chief but quickly called for two more engine companies. 
 
"It was just a hot, humid day so it is hard for the crews to work. You always have to worry about heat exposure so that's why the on-duty deputy called Hinsdale rehab trailer. They come with water, a bus with air conditioning," Stephenson said.
 

The two-alarm fire was called in around 3:30 in the afternoon.
The deputy chief said the fire had burned to a point where there was little they could do to halt the damage. But he credited firefighters for their efforts in stopping the blaze quickly after arriving.
 
"They did an outstanding job. They encountered an involved full side of the house. The damage was done pretty much prior to the Fire Department getting here but they did a great job knocking it down and putting the rest of the fire out. It is pretty tough in the hot conditions," Stephenson said.
 
Hinsdale and Lanesborough both arrived on scene for assistance and Lenox, Dalton, and another crew from Lanesborough covered city stations. 
 
At the same time as firefighters worked on Highland Avenue, Stephenson said another fire call came in. At that scene, a mattress had caught on fire and an off-duty firefighter who lived in the neighborhood was able to drag it out of the home, preventing a structure fire there.
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