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Superior Court Briefs: January 17 - January 18
Staff Reports On: 05:18PM / Friday January 20, 2012
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Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Tuesday, January 17

Darius Walters, 18, of Pittsfield was sentenced to two years in the Berkshire County House of Correction on three counts of distribution of cocaine and placed on two years probation on three counts of conspiracy to violate drug laws.

Walters pleaded guilty to the charges on Jan. 12. Walters sold cocaine and conspired with others to sell cocaine in Pittsfield on October 1, 2010, October 6, 2010 and October 13, 2010.

Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Tuesday, January 18

Travis Perras, 19, of North Adams pleaded guilty to single counts of burglary, assault and battery on a person 60 years or older and malicious destruction of property.

Perras was sentenced to 18 months of a two and a half year sentence at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the assault and battery charge and two years probation on the other charges. He will also have to pay the victim restitution of $1,350.

Perras assaulted a 62-year-old man in North Adams on August 10, 2010.


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Truck Rollover Closes Church Street
Staff Reports On: 12:47PM / Thursday January 19, 2012
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A paving truck rolled over into Southview Cemeter after apparently losing its brakes coming down steep West Shaft Road.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — An asphalt truck plowed into Southview Cemetery at about 10:50 on Thursday morning after apparently losing its brakes coming down steep West Shaft Road.

Church Street was expected to be closed or reduced to one lane during the afternoon for the truck to be removed.

Police Lt. David Sacco said state police are investigating the cause but witnesses told police they heard the Atlantic Paving truck's airhorn as it came down the hill.

The driver took a left at the bottom of West Shaft and the truck, which was filled with cold patch, rolled onto its passenger side on the cemetery's slight incline along Church Street, stopping just a couple feet from a tree. Asphalt spilled onto the ground but no gravestones appeared to damaged.

Dean's Towing was called to remove the vehicle and city crews were dispatched to remove the cold patch. Joseph Dean said the truck's removal was completed by the spilled patch and because the dump body had come off its guides.

It was estimated that the removal would take one to two hours. Both lanes of Church Street were closed at West Shaft Road shortly after noontime.

Updated information, Jan. 19, 9:15 a.m.: The truck was a 1997 Mack 600 registered to Atlantic Paving of Peabody.



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Wellington Ave. Shooter Pleads Not Guilty To Gun Charges
Staff Reports On: 03:31PM / Wednesday January 18, 2012
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Kurt Hudson, 25, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf Wednesday on one count of illegal possession of a firearm and one count of possession of a firearm with a prior conviction for a violent crime or serious drug offense.

Judge Daniel Ford ordered that Hudson be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $100,000 bail.

Hudson allegedly was in possession of a firearm in Pittsfield on December 4, 2011. Hudson was initially charged with the murder of 23-year-old Nikolas Carnute during a Wellington Avenue shooting but a Grand Jury later found that he was acting in self defense.


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Grand Jury Finds Wellington Ave. Shooter Acted In Self-Defense
Staff Reports On: 03:48PM / Tuesday January 17, 2012
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Grand Jury found on Tuesday that the accused murderer of Nikolas Carnute was acting in self-defense.

The Wellington Avenue shooting of the 23-year-old Carnute on December 4, 2011 resulted in the arrest of Kurt Hudson, 25, of Pittsfield. Hudson fled to South Carolina, where he was apprehended a few days later.

According to District Attorney David Capeless, after two days of testimony, the Grand Jury found that Carnute drew a gun on Hudson while Hudson sat in the driver's seat of a parked car. Hudson fired two shots out of the car window as he backed out of the Wellington Avenue driveway. One of those shots hit Carnute in the head. Carnute was transported to Berkshire Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Hudson then fled the scene and the gun Carnute used was not recovered because an associate of Carnute took it from the scene, according to Capeless.

The jury found no probable cause to charge Hudson with murder. However, he will be charged with felon in possession of a firearm, which carries a minimum three-year sentence and a maximum sentence of 15 years.

Additionally, Jamel Nicholson, 22, of Pittsfield was charged with interfering with a criminal investigation for providing misleading information to investigators.

Capeless said the police investigation was conducted properly and "persevered despite being hampered by witnesses that were variously reluctant, uncooperative, misleading and even obstructionists."

The murder shocked the Morningside neighborhood and the outrage triggered a neighborhood meeting on safety.
 
"We are once again reminded by this episode that the criminal culture that promotes the carrying of firearms only fosters increased violence and death, and, whether it threatens law-abiding citizens or criminal perpetrators, that violence will not be tolerated by those of us in law enforcement. We will diligently and fairly investigate these acts of senseless violence, and will endeavor to overcome any obstacles put in our path in order to determine the truth and to seek justice. Street justice is not justice, only violence by another name; the law of our Commonwealth is justice, and I will take all steps to see that it is fulfilled," Capeless said.


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Superior Court Briefs: January 9 - January 12
Staff Reports On: 07:58PM / Friday January 13, 2012
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Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Monday, January 9

Williams Murphy
, 37, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate drug laws to wit: possession of cocaine.

Murphy was sentenced to one day at the Berkshire County House of Correction. Murphy conspired with others to possess cocaine between December 23, 2009 and March 5, 2010.

Gerald Field, 44, of Monterey, was found guilty by a jury on single counts of assault by means of a dangerous weapon, intimidation of a witness, threat to commit a crime, to wit: murder and two counts of assault and battery.

The charges stem from an assault involving a 56-year-old woman in Great Barrington between June 16, 2010 and June 22, 2010. He was found not guilty on four counts of aggravated rape and one count of armed kidnapping with sexual assault.

On Tuesday, Field was sentenced to five to seven years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction on the intimidation of a witness charge and then an additional four to five years on the assault with a dangerous weapon. He was given concurrent house of correction sentences on the remaining charges.

Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Tuesday, January 10

Domenic Carchedi
, 34, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to 16 counts of breaking and entering in the daytime, 14 counts of larceny in a building, two counts of larceny of a controlled substance and single counts of receiving stolen property and common and notorious thief.

Carchedi was ordered to serve two and a half years at the Berkshire County House of Corrections and on the receiving stolen property charge, another two and half years to be served after on the common and notorious thief and concurrent sentences on the other charges.

The charges stem from a series of house breaks in Pittsfield, Lanesborough, Richmond, West Stockbridge, Lee, Otis, Windsor and Becket between November 10, 2010 and January 21, 2011.

Jahart B. Moore, 33, of Bronx, N.Y. pleaded guilty to two counts of distribution of cocaine and two counts of drug violation within a school zone.

Moore was sentenced to concurrent one day sentences at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the distribution charges and concurrent three to four year state prison sentences on the other two charges.

The charges stem from incidents in Pittsfield on September 30, 2008 and October 6, 2008. Single counts of manufacturing cocaine and drug violation in a school zone were dismissed by the state.

Samantha Perkins
, 20, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of conspiracy to commit an assault with a handgun.

Perkins was placed on two years probation on the condition that six months be spent in home confinement.

A single count of armed assault with intent to murder and two counts of assault by means of a dangerous weapon were dismissed by the state. Perkins conspired with others in an attempt to assault a 22-year-old man in Pittsfield on August 16, 2009.

Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Wednesday, January 11

Jeffrey Williamson, 48, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty of single counts of distribution of cocaine and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute - both second offenses.

Williamson was sentenced to serve concurrent four to five year state prison sentences at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction. Williamson sold cocaine on December 6, 2010 and was in possession of cocaine with intent to sell when he was arrested on January 7, 2011 in Pittsfield.

Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Thursday, January 12


Darius Walters, 18, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to three counts of distribution of cocaine and three counts of conspiracy to violate drug laws.

Walters was released on $10,000 bail pending sentences on Tuesday, Jan. 17. Walters conspired with others to sell cocaine in Pittsfield on October 1, 2010, October 6, 2010 and October 13, 2010.


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Adams 413-743-1212
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West Stockbridge 413-232-7938
State Police  
Cheshire Barracks
413-743-4700
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