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North Adams Woman Found Guilty Of Social Security Fraud

Staff Reports
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A North Adams woman was ordered to pay $72,635 back to the federal Social Security Agency after being convicted of fraudulently obtaining Social Security disability benefits.
 
Nancy Killackey, 57, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Mark Mastroianni on Monday to 18 months of probation and to pay the more than $70,000 in restitution. 
 
Killackey received the money from the agency by intentionally concealing the wages her husband earned. She collected the money from Jan. 1, 2002 through Oct. 1, 2013.  
 
On July 21, 2011, she told federal agents that the man was not her husband. When asked why he had claimed they were married, she described him as "a big, fat liar" and "an idiot off his medication," federal authorities said. She then claimed that the date her husband listed as their wedding date was actually a date he had a heart attack.
 
Killackey was found to have received the benefits that she was ineligible for when prosecuted in U.S. Federal Court in Springfield.
 
Edited at 12:37p.m., Aug. 13, to clarify the benefits were for disability.
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Two Pittsfield Stores Robbed At Knifepoint

Staff Reports
Updated: Aug. 16 at 12:55 p.m. 
Police say they made an arrest in the Subway robbery. 
 

 

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Two city businesses were robbed at knife point in the last few days.
 
Police say on Sunday night, at about 5:45, the Subway restaurant at 179 South Street was robbed. The following night the Citgo gas station at 1330 East Street was robbed. Both robberies were by knifepoint.
 
On Subway robbery, the suspect is described as a white man with thin build standing at about 5-foot 6-inches tall. He was wearing an olive green t-shirt, blue jeans, a dark colored banana and had scruffy facial hair, according to police.
 
The suspect jumped over the counter and took an undisclosed amount of money from the register. The employee was unhurt during the incident. The suspect then fled down Taconic Street.
 
On Monday night at about 8 p.m. two masked individuals robbed the Citgo. 
 
Police say one suspect wore a dark-colored sweatshirt with UConn imprinted across the chest, dark jeans, dark shoes, a green mask, gloves, and sunglasses. The other suspect wore long-sleeved white shirt, a red mask, dark jeans, black skateboarding sneakers, yellow gloves, and a black covering.
 
Both individuals showed knives and took an undisclosed amount of money and cigarettes. They fled on foot to the rear of the store. The attendance was unhurt in the incident.
 
Police are asking anyone with information to call the detective bureau to call them at 413-448-9705.
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Superior Cout Briefs: Aug. 3 - Aug. 6

Staff Reports
Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Monday, August 3.
 
Jeffery Butler, 34, of Pittsfield had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf on a single count of trafficking in cocaine.
 
He was released on $2,500 bail. The charge stems from a motor vehicle stop in Lenox on June 13, 2015.
 
Benjamin Fielding, 26, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on two counts of conspiracy to violate drug laws to wit: distribution of heroin, and single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, drug violation in a school zone, and possession of heroin.
 
He was released on personal recognizance. The charge stems from an incident in Pittsfield on June 8, 2015.
 
William Kachuk, 51, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of conspiracy to violate drug laws to wit: distribution of heroin, and possession of heroin.
 
He was released on personal recognizance. The charge stems from an incident in Pittsfield on June 8, 2015.
 
Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Thursday, August 6.
 
Ryan Babcock, 30, of New Marlborough pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, and possession of oxycodone with intent to distribute.
 
He was ordered to serve concurrent three to four years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction. He will begin those sentences on Sept. 3.
 
The charges stem from a domestic dispute call in Great Barrington on June 5, 2013. Single counts of resisting arrest, assault and battery on a public employee, and disorderly conduct were dismissed by the state.
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Police ID Bodies Found In Plunkett Street Apartment

Staff Reports
Anthony Nazareth and his daughter Hannah Nazareth in a photo the father posted on Facebook.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Authorities are considering a number of possibilities that led to a father and 11-year-old daughter being found dead in their Plunkett Street home.
 
Police found the bodies of Anthony Nazareth, 47, and Hannah Nazareth, 11, inside the third-floor apartment at 72 Plunkett Street on Monday. The incident was initially feared a murder/suicide by law enforcement.
 
However, on Tuesday, District Attorney David Capeless' office said preliminary results show that the father may have died from a drug overdose and the daughter showed no signs of trauma to her body.
 
Dr. Richard Atkinson, an associate medical examiner for the state, performed an autopsy on Anthony Nazareth and the cause of death is still undetermined. Authorities say preliminary toxicological tests indicate a possibility that he had died because of a drug overdose.
 
Dr. Lindsey Emery, an associate medical examiner for the office of the medical examiner in Boston, performed an autopsy on Hannah Nazareth and found no signs of trauma to her body. Again, the cause of death remains unknown until the results of further tests are revealed. 
 
"Police are actively investigating this case and are speaking with family and friends of the Nazareths. They are considering a number of different scenarios as to what occurred inside the apartment and when it took place," reads a statement from the district attorney's office.
 
The bodies were found after police forced their way into the home at about 4 p.m. The apartment was locked from the inside, police say, but it is unclear what prompted the response.
 
For hours a section of Plunkett Street was blocked off in front of the house, which sits directly behind Berkshire Wine and Liquors near the intersection with Tyler Street, as authorities investigated the scene. The investigation is being conducted by the local and state police. The Berkshire County Sheriff's Department assisted on scene Monday night.
 
Late Monday night, the district attorney's office released a statement which read, "at this point, based upon what police have discovered, investigators fear that what occurred is a murder suicide. The matter remains under investigation and police are seeking information from family members and friends."
 
Hannah Nazareth was a student in Pittsfield Public Schools. Superintendent Jason McCandless sent an e-mail to parents saying there will be counselors at the schools to assist with children dealing with the events. 
 
"Although school is not in session, we believe that that the challenges of being a student and the challenges of being the parent or guardian of a student are great — and that as a school system — we must offer support and help in this work year round. We want to be of service to your family as you work to deal with violence and loss of life in our community as we all deal with heartbreak and loss," McCandless wrote.
 
Counselors will be available at both Morningside and Conte from 12:30 until 1, during community lunches, until next Wednesday. Parents can also have individual consultations at Morningside Community School from 1 until 3 on Thursday, Aug. 6. 

 

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Pittsfield Police Investigating Murder-Suicide

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff

Police are investigating an apparent murder-suicide on Plunkett Street.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding an apparent murder-suicide at a Plunkett Street home.

The bodies of a 47-year-old man and his 11-year-old daughter were discovered late Monday afternoon when police conducted a wellness check at 72 Plunkett St.

Authorities were at the scene at about 4:30., blocking off a small section of the road.

Investigators were seen going in and out of both the second and third floors of the blue, three-unit home.

It appeared most of the focus was on the third floor. The Berkshire County Sheriff's Department set up its command vehicle in front of the house and multiple cruisers were moved around the area. 

Two bodies were removed from the building around 10 p.m. and loaded into the chief medical examiner's vehicle, which arrived around 9 p.m.

Authorities have declined to provide any further information, including identifying the victims or how they were killed. 

A very brief statement from the district attorney's office was released at about 10:30 stating "at this point, based upon what police have discovered, investigators fear that what occurred is a murder suicide. The matter remains under investigation and police are seeking information from family members and friends."

The home sits directly behind Berkshire Wine and Liquors, right near the intersection of Tyler Street. On both sides of the police tape, large crowds gathered. Rumors flew around the city ranging in details but mostly centered on a murder/suicide situation.

None of those at the scene reported to iBerkshires hearing or seeing anything suspicious. 

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