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Superior Court Briefs: April 24 - April 25
Staff Reports On: 04:04PM / Friday April 27, 2012
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Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Tuesday, April 24.

Shane Whalen, 32, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to six counts of distribution of cocaine, six counts of drug violation in a school zone, four counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, and two counts of conspiracy to violate drug laws.

Whalen was given concurrent two and half year sentences at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the distribution charges and given concurrent one day sentences on the possession and conspiracy charges.

He was engaged in selling or attempting to sell cocaine between December 29, 2009 and February 16, 2010. He conspired with others to sell cocaine between December 22, 2009 and April 15, 2010. An additional count of conspiracy to violate drug laws was dismissed by the state.

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

Casey Ivery, 32, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of accessory after the fact: to wit: manslaughter and accessory after the fact: to wit: assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon.

She was sentenced to 18 months at the Berkshire County House of Correction.

Ivery was charged in connection to the stabbing death of 26-year-old Jahda Martin in Pittsfield on March 6, 2010.

John Spratling, 28, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to a single count of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon.

He was sentenced to serve five to six years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction. He assaulted Martin in Pittsfield on March 6, 2010.

Single counts of murder and intimidation of a witness was dismissed by the state.


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Court Places Adams Man On Probation For Drury High Threat
Staff Reports On: 03:59PM / Friday April 27, 2012
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — An Adams man who made a Facebook threat on Drury High School last November was sentenced on Friday to probation and community service.

Zachary Barbeau, 19, created a Facebook profile with a false identity and posted threats against the North Adams school and its students on November 10, 2011. Police tracked the account to his address and he was arrested later that day.

That day the school ramped up safety precautions, which the district attorney's office characterized as a "lock down" but school officials said was not.

Investigators said he did not have access to a gun nor had intentions of carrying out the threat.

He was charged with single counts of threatening the use of a deadly weapon and causing the disruption of a school, threat to commit murder, and disruption of a public assembly.

He pleaded guilty on March 7 and sentenced on Friday by Judge John Agostini in Berkshire Superior Court. Barbeau was placed on two years probation on the condition that he undergo a psychiatric evaluation, counseling and anger management during that period. Additionally, he must perform 100 hours of community service work or seek employment.


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Superior Court Briefs: April 19
Staff Reports On: 07:31PM / Tuesday April 24, 2012
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Cases heard before Judge Daniel Ford on Thursday, April 19.

Matthew King, 30, of Adams had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute - his second offense - and conspiracy to violate drug laws.

The charges are in connection with the execution of a search warrant at his home on March 13. He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $10,000 cash and $100,000 surety bail.

Jessica Marino, 24, of Adams had not guilty pleas entered on her behalf on single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute and conspiracy to violate drug laws. She was released on $500 bail. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant on her home on March 13.



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Majolica Bowl Stolen From Lanesborough Home
Staff Reports On: 02:07PM / Tuesday April 24, 2012
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The stolen bowl is similar to the one seen here.
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — An antique majolica bowl was reportedly stolen from a home on Easter Sunday.

The French barbotine majolica bowl is about 14 inches tall with a diameter of about 20 inches and features ornament birds and flowers, according to reports on multiple websites dedicated to antiques.

The bowl was likely stolen from the home on Easter Sunday and the posting appeared on Friday.

The posting asks anyone with information is asked to contact the police department.

Attempts to reach police for more details were unsuccessful on Monday and Tuesday.


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Berkshire County Firefighters Battle Brush Fire In Lee
Staff Reports On: 05:44PM / Thursday April 19, 2012
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The staging area on Reservoir Road is just one of three where firefighters are attacking the fire.
LEE, Mass. — Firefighters from 19 fire departments and the state Department of Conservation  battled a massive brush fire near October Mountain State Forest on Thursday afternoon.

Fire Chief Alan B. Sparks said the fire had burned through more than 30 acres since being reported shortly after 1 p.m.

"I'm not going to say it's contained," said Sparks at one of the staging areas earlier in the afternoon. "I'm going to say some of it's contained."

The fire was reportedly contained around 7 p.m. with some departments ready to pack up and head home.

The fire began in the back yard of a Sharyn Drive property where someone was burning brush. The chief said the man had a permit to burn but lost control of the fire.

Staging areas had been set up at Sharyn Drive and Lander and Reservoir roads in an attempt to surround the fire. Sparks said it keeps jumping everytime the wind picks up.

Firefighters were using ATVs and hauling water in tankers to reach the flames. Adams Forest Wardens were among the North County departments at the scene. They had arrived one staging area and were awaiting instruction. Pittsfield, Tyringham and Richmond were also there.

There had been talk of using a Massachusetts National Guard helicopter to scoop water out of Laurel Lake to help douse the flames but it was not clear when and if that was going to occur.

Sparks said he didn't know how long firefighters would be on the scene.


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