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Superior Court Briefs: May 10 - May 17
Staff Reports On: 03:17PM / Friday May 17, 2013
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Cases heard before Judge C. Jeffrey Kinder on Friday, May 10.

Christopher White, 25, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to five counts of breaking and entering in the daytime, five counts of larceny from a building, and single counts of breaking and entering in the daytime placing a person  in fear, illegal possession of a firearm, larceny of a firearm, vandalize property, larceny over $250 and common and notorious thief.

He was released on personal recognizance pending sentencing on Friday, May 17. On Friday, White was sentenced to 18 months at the Berkshire County House of Correction on all charges except common and notorious. He was placed on probation on that charge.

White broke into houses in Hancock, Hinsdale, Richmond, Dalton and Washington between September 7, 2011 and January 30, 2012. Two counts of malicious destruction of personal property over $250 and single counts of breaking and entering in the daytime, vandalize property and larceny in a building were dismissed by the state.

Cases heard before Judge C. Jeffrey Kinder on Monday, May 13.

John Meyette, 31, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of larceny over $250 and conspiracy to commit larceny over $250.

He was sentenced to serve 32 days at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the larceny charge and placed on one year probation on the conspiracy charge.

The charges stem from an incident in Pittsfield on July 20, 2011. A single count of breaking and entering a motor vehicle in the nighttime with the intent to commit a felony was dismissed by the state.

Cases heard before Judge C. Jeffrey Kinder on Tuesday, May 14.

Yarmi Lamart Cofield Sr., 39, of Springfield pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute - his second offense, illegal ownership of a firearm, improper storage of a firearm, possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

He was sentenced to concurrent four to five years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction on the possession of cocaine and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony charges. He was given concurrent sentences at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the others.

The charge stems from the execution of a search warrant on Linden Street on September 19, 2012.

Cases heard before Judge C. Jeffrey Kinder on Wednesday, May 15.

Francis Daniel Mensah, 48, of Pittsfield was found guilty by a jury on single counts of aggravated assault and battery, assault and battery and violation of an abuse prevention order.

He was sentenced to serve one year of a two year sentenced at the Berkshire County House of Correction and place on two years probation.

The incidents occurred in Pittsfield and involved a 28-year-old woman between October 1, 2011 and December 22, 2011.

Prior to the start of the trial, Kinder ordered not guilty findings on single counts of assault and batter and reckless endangerment of a child in connection with charges involving an 8-year-old girl.

Mensah was found not guilty on single counts of rape and intimidation of a witness.



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Superior Court Briefs: May 8.
Staff Reports On: 12:33PM / Friday May 10, 2013
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Cases heard before Judge C. Jeffrey Kinder on Wednesday, May 8.

James Mullen, 22, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on five counts of larceny over $250 from a person 60-year-old or older, three counts of forgery, three counts of uttering and single counts of breaking and entering, larceny from a person over age 65, attempt to commit a crime, to wit: larceny over $250, receiving stolen property over $250, misleading a police officer, furnishing a false name to a police officer and common and notorious thief.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $25,000 cash or $250,000 surety bail. The incidents allegedly occurred in Pittsfield and North Adams between August 3, 2012 and April 4, 2013. 
 
Shane Rohane, 29, of North Adams pleaded guilty to a single count of assault and batter on a person age 60 or older. 
 
He was sentenced to two to four years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction. The charges stem from an altercation in North Adams on October 4, 2012 when Rohane beat up an 60-year-old man. 
 
Two counts of assault by means of a dangerous weapon were dismissed by the state.


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Lanesborough Shed Explodes; Firefighters Prevent Forest Fire
By Andy McKeever On: 05:21PM / Friday May 03, 2013
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A propane tank exploded inside the shed sparking the fire.

LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — A shed behind a Potter Mountain home exploded Friday afternoon and nearly spread to a full-blown brush fire.
 
According to the homeowner, who wished to remain anonymous, his wife heard a loud bang at about 3 p.m. and moments later flames in the back yard had engulfed the nearby trees. The shed was completely destroyed and fire burned about an acre of land. 
 
"The flames were over the trees," he said.
 
Upon arriving, firefighters immediately called in tanker trucks from Hancock and Richmond to contain the fire from spreading up the Potter Mountain hillside, according to Fire Chief Charlie Durfee.
 
The state Department of Conservation and Recreation was called because of the "Class 4" conditions, meaning there is a high-level risk for brush fires.
 
"We were preventing the fire from spreading to a full-blown brush fire," Durfee said. "It could have taken off and burned 200 acres up the mountain."
 
Firefighters used about 4,000 gallons of water to put out the flames in about 30 minutes. Employees of nearby Sayers Auto Wrecking helped remove brush near the fire.
 
"The cause of the explosion is likely from a 1-pound propane cylinder for a grill," Durfee said, explaining that sometimes the propane expands and blows up the cylinder. 
 
Durfee said that type of explosion doesn't happen often but he was "just thankful the propane was out in the shed and not in the garage."
 
Nobody was injured. The shed housed typical outdoor items like fences and toys. A boat next to the shed was also destroyed.
 
The homeowner said he does have insurance, which will cover the replacement cost. 
 
"I have to give credit to Lanesborough and Richmond. They did a fabulous job," he said. "They knocked it down really quickly."


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Superior Court Briefs: April 29 - May 2
Staff Reports On: 11:27AM / Friday May 03, 2013
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Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Monday, April 29.

Justin Gaetani, 29, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on 12 counts of illegal possession of a large capacity feeding device, three counts of improper storage of a large capacity firearm, two counts of illegal possession of an assault weapon, two counts of illegal ownership of a firearm, and single counts of possession of a firearm with a defaced serial number, possession of ammunition without a firearm identification car and improper storage of a firearm.
 
He was released on personal recognizance. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant at his home on March 3.
 
Glenn Robert, 63, of North Adams had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of violation of the notification requirement of a release or threat of release of oil or hazardous waster, illegal disposal of hazardous waste and discharging a pollutant into the waters of the Commonwealth.
 
He was released on personal recognizance. Robert allegedly spilled approximately 20 gallons of diesel fuel in North Adams on October 15, 2012.
 
Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Thursday, May 2.
 
Nolan Gamari,20, of Clarksburg pleaded guilty to four counts of rape and abuse of a child, no force, and a single count of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14.
 
He was sentenced to two and a half years at the Berkshire County House of Correction on one count of rape and abuse of a child. He was sentenced to two and a half years at the Berkshire County House of Correction with one of those years to be serve while the remained be suspended with three years of probation. The year served will occur following the first sentences meaning he will serve a total of three and a half years at the Berkshire County House of Correction.
 
On the last count of rape and abuse he was given three years probation. 
 
Two additional counts of rape and abuse of a child, no force and a single count of enticing a child under the age of 16 were dismissed by the state.
 
The charges stem from an incident in Clarksburg on February 12, 2012 and involved a girl who is now 14 years old.


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Superior Court Briefs: April 23 - April 25
Staff Reports On: 11:13AM / Friday April 26, 2013
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Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Tuesday, April 23.

Anthony Thompson, 33, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to a single count of participating in betting.

The case was continued without a finding. Thompson admitted to using illegal poker machines in Pittsfield on April 27, 2012.

Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Thursday, April 25.

Daniel Lowenstein, 22, of Amherst, had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on three counts of distribution of marijuana and single counts of possession of a sawed-off shotgun, illegal possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm with a defaced serial number, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs.

Lowenstein was released on $5,000 cash or $50,000 surety bail. Lowenstein allegedly sold marijuana to an undercover police officer in Great Barrington on Feb. 23, March 2 and March 9. He was allegedly in possession of marijuana with the intent to sell on March 9. The other charges are also alleged to have occurred in Great Barrington on March 9.



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