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Superior Court Briefs: November 4 - November 8

Staff Reports
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Monday, November 4.
 
Gabriel Cardona, 23, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of assault and battery on a disabled person, assault and battery, assault and batter by means of a dangerous weapon and intimidation of a witness.
 
He was given an 18 month suspended jail sentence and placed on 18 months probation. He must also perform 96 hours of community service and undergo mental health counseling.
 
Cardona assaulted two men - ages 20 and 23 - in Pittsfield on June 29, 2012. A single count of assault and battery on a disabled person was dismissed by the state.
 
William Belcher Jr., 60, of Dalton had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on four counts of larceny over $250 and a single count of caretaker abuse on an elder.
 
He was released on $2,500 cash or $25,000 surety bail. Belcher allegedly took $6,000 from a 98-year-old woman in Dalton between November 1, 2009 and February 28, 2013.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, November 5.
 
David Neyer, 24, of Plattsburgh, N.Y. pleaded guilty to nine counts of rape and a abuse of a child.
 
He was ordered to serve concurrent five to seven years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction. The incidents occurred in Pittsfield between July 24, 2012 and September 2, 2012 and involved a girl who is now 14 years old.
 
Richard Jones III, 29, of North Adams pleaded guilty to 15 counts of breaking and entering in the nighttime, 12 counts of larceny over $250, two counts of breaking and entering in the daytime, two counts of larceny from a building, two counts of trespassing and single counts of malicious destruction of personal property, possession of burglarious tools and malicious destruction of personal property under $250.
 
He was ordered to serve concurrent nine month sentences at the Berkshire County House of Correction on all charges except for the trespassing and malicious destruction of personal property charge. He was given concurrent 30-day sentences on those charges.
 
The charges stem from a series of breaks in Williamstown and North Adams between February 12, 2012 and March 19, 2012. A single count of common and notorious thief was dismissed by the state.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Wednesday, November 6.
 
Felisa Kazimierczak, 44, of Adams pleaded guilty to single counts of kidnapping, misleading a police officer, filing a false crime report, larceny over $250 and making false entries into corporate books.
 
She was ordered to serve concurrent two year sentences at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the kidnapping and misleading a police officer charges. She was given two years at the Berkshire County House of Correction to be served on and after the first sentence on the larceny charge. She was given concurrent sentences on the other charges.
 
Kazimierczak took approximately $60,000 while employed at Greylock Federal Credit Union on March 1, 2012. A single count of embezzlement from a bank was dismissed by the state.
 
Annette Matta, 24, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on her behalf on single counts of trafficking in cocaine, possession of heroin with intent to distribute and possession of phencyclidine in connection with the execution of a search warrant on her home on September 4, 2013.
 
She was released on $2,500 cash or $25,000 surety bail.
 
Davon Fitts, 31, of Pittsfield had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf on a single count of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon. 
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $1,000 bail. The charge stems from an incident in North Adams on June 15, 2013 and involved a 41 year old man.
 
Matthieu Cantarella, 29, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on two counts of distribution of cocaine, two counts of distribution of oxycodone and a single count of conspiracy to violate drug laws, to wit: distribution of cocaine and oxycodone.
 
He was released on personal recognizance. Cantarella allegedly sold cocaine on March 15, 2013 and April 2, 2013 and sold oxycodone on March 29, 2013 and April 7, 2013. He also allegedly conspired with others to sell the drugs between March 3, 2013 and April 30, 2013.
 
James Cantarella, 28, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of attempt to commit a crime, to wit: armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery in connection with in incident allegedly occurring in Pittsfield on March 16, 2013. He also had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf on a single count of conspiracy to violate drug laws, to wit: distribution of oxycodone for allegedly conspiring with others to sell the drug between March 3, 2013 and April 30, 2013.
 
He was released on personal recognizance.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Friday, November 8.
 
Toby Walton, 33, of Dalton had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of trafficking in heroin and negligent operation of a motor vehicle.
 
He was ordered to be held on $10,000 cash or $100,000 surety. The charges stem from a motor vehicle accident in Dalton on October 11, 2013.
 
Darius Walters, 20, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of trafficking in cocaine, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute - his second offense - and unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $10,000 cash or $100,000 surety bail. The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in Pittsfield on October 7, 2013.
 
Ronald King, 53, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of trafficking in heroin, operation a motor vehicle with a suspended licenses - his second offense.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $10,000 cash or surety bail. The incident allegedly occurred in Lenox on October 13, 2013.
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Great Barrington Police Investigate Motor Vehicle Accident

Great Barrington Police

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. – Police, Fire Department and Southern Berkshire Ambulance responded to a motor vehicle accident with multiple injuries on Wednesday night on State Road in front of Plaza Package.

The accident, which was reported at 5:01 p.m., involved a 2003 Subaru operated by Ronald J. Fonte, 44, of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and a 2001 Audi operated by Dennis G. Gibbons, 31, of South Egremont.

Fonte was uninjured in the crash; however, Gibbons and his two passengers required treatment at area hospitals. Gibbons and passenger Jeremy Martel, 36, of Sheffield were transported to Fairview Hospital by Southern Berkshire Ambulance. Gibbbons' other passenger, Cody Kickery, 26, of Great Barrington, was transported by Southern Berkshire Ambulance and County Ambulance paramedics to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield.

No information on their status is available at this time.

Initial investigation by Officer Daniel Bartini revealed that Fonte attempted to turn left into Plaza Package in front of Gibbons' vehicle, resulting in a head-on collision. At this time, no charges have been filed and the accident remains under investigation.

Anyone who may have witnessed the crash is requested to contact police at 413-528-0306.

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Pittsfield City Councilor Arraigned In Superior Court On Drug Charges

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — City Councilor Paul Capitanio pleaded not guilty to single counts of accessory after the fact, to wit: distribution of oxycodone and conspiracy to violate drug laws, to wit: possession of oxycodone.
 
He was released on $500 bail - the same bail transferred from the District Court. Capitanio appeared in court Wednesday after being indicted in Superior Court on the charges.
 
Capitanio is accused of providing an oxycodone supplier with information concerning the Berkshire County Drug Task Force raised between April 29, 2013 and April 30, 2013. He is also accused of conspiring with others to possess oxycodone between March 3, 2013 and April 30, 2013.
 
The court set a January 16, 2014 pretrial conference.
 
The Ward 3 Councilor did not seek reelection but has returned to the City Council after taking one week off after being initially charged.
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Superior Court Briefs: October 30 - October 31

Staff Reports

Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Wednesday, October 30.

Shaun Koonce, 33, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of trafficking in cocaine, possession of heroin with intent to distribute - his second offense - and possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card.

He was released on $3,500 cash or $35,000 surety bail. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant at his home on September 12, 2013.

Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Thursday, October 31.

Dennis Hall Jr., 33, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of attempt to commit a crime, to wit: armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery.

He was released on personal recognizance and the charges stem from an incident that allegedly occurred in Pittsfield on March 16, 2013.

Jeff Burdick, 33, of North Adams had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on two counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, two counts of oxycodone with intent to distribute and a single count of conspiracy to violate drug laws.

He was released on personal recognizance. Burdick allegedly possessed the drugs with intent to sell them in North Adams between March 156, 2013 and April 7, 2013. He also allegedly conspired with others to sell cocaine and oxycodone between March 3, 2013 and April 30, 2013.

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Lanesborough's Foam House Burns Down

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff
A fire completely destroyed the National Street home. At left as seen in a realty advertisement.

LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The foam house on National Street  burned to the ground Thursday afternoon.

The seasonal home is somewhat of a local landmark. The foam created a rounded, bubble-like appearance which led many to dub it  "The Flintstone House."

According to Fire Chief Charlie Durfee, firefighters responded to the fully engulfed structure fire shortly after 2 p.m. on Thursday.

The house, a wooden structure encased in foam, was already mostly burnt and the firefighters launched a "surround and drown" attack to prevent the flames from damaging nearby properties.

"I was on Narragansett Street, came around the corner and saw this house fully involved and called in a structure fire," Durfee said. "It's the foam house at the bottom on National Street and was built right around 1972."

The foam fueled the fire and the focus was on protecting nearby properties, Durfee said. The flames were so hot that they dried up leaves wet from the rain and threatened to spread. Pieces of foam flew in the sky and littered nearby properties.

The electric was shut off after the wires caught fire.

Durfee said he immediately called in support from Cheshire and Pittsfield and attacked the fire from both National Street and from Imperial Street — which runs parallel — to put out the flames in about 45 minutes. County Ambulance responded on scene as well.

The building at 45 National St. is used seasonally and no one was there at the time. It is owned by Denise Barrierre of Rhode Island. The small structure had one bedroom and one bath and was about a 1,000 square feet in size.

It was built in the 1970s with foam with a focus on being energy efficient. There were no firefighters injured in the process of knocking down the flames during the heavy rain.

The cause is undetermined after a fire inspector arrived on the scene Thursday afternoon.

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