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Three Charged in Murder of Pittsfield's Asiyanna Jones

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Three individuals have been indicted by a grand jury on murder charges for the death of Asiyanna Jones.
 
Josiaiah Bynum, 20, Carey Pilot, 45, and Gary Linen, 38, all of Pittsfield, are each being charged with single counts of first-degree murder. The three are expected to be arraigned in Berkshire Superior Court soon.
 
The three are accused of shooting the 22-year-old Jones on Dewey Avenue on Oct. 2, 2017. Jones was found shot in the head inside a motor vehicle shortly before 11 p.m.that night. She was flown to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield and pronounced dead at about 4 a.m. the next morning.
 
Reportedly, the shots went through the windshield of the vehicle that Jones was sitting in with another woman. The driver immediately took Jones to Berkshire Medical Center. 
 
Two weeks later, Bynum was arraigned on weapons and assault charges and, at the time, police were searching for Linen. A few days before Bynum's arrest, Justin Crawford, 20, was arrested and police said they found a handgun that was involved on the Oct. 2 shooting. Shots were reportedly exchanged that night between two opposing parties.
 
Jones was a graduate of Pittsfield High School and had been a child-care worker at the Berkshire Family YMCA. She was recently employed at Hillcrest Educational Center.
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Superior Court Briefs: June 27 - June 29

Staff Reports
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Wednesday, June 27.
 
Joseph Barnes, 32, of Pittsfield had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf on a single count of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute - his second offense.
 
He was released on $2,000 bail. The charge stems from the execution of a search warrant at his home on March 9, 2018.
 
Jayce Jones, 38, of Pittsfield had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf on a single count of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.
 
He was released on $500 bail. The charge stems from the execution of a search warrant at his home on March 9, 2018.
 
Marcelle King, 30, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on two counts of illegal ownership of a firearm, and single counts of possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card and receiving stolen property under $250. 
 
He was released on $500 bail. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant at his home on March 9, 2018.
 
Cases heard before Judge Mark Mason on Thursday, June 28.
 
Roscoe Adams, 38, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of assault and battery on a disabled person and caretaker abuse on a disabled person.
 
The charge was continued without a finding for one year. Adams assaulted a student while working at Eagleton School on June 10, 2013. A single count of misleading a police officer was dismissed by the state.
 
Cases heard before Judge Mark Mason on Friday, June 29.
 
Jerrel Hall, 26, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to a single count of possession of heroin with intent to distribute - his second offense. 
 
He was ordered to serve four to five years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction. The charge stemmed from the execution of an arrest warrant on May 23, 2016. 
 
Single counts of armed career felon, illegal possession of a firearm - his second offense - and a single count of possession of a firearm with a defaced serial number were dismissed by the state.
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Pittsfield Businessman Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Greylock Credit Union

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A city real estate developer pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Springfield of defrauding Greylock Federal Credit Union.
 
Jeffrey Pierce, 51, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to receive money through transactions of a credit union with intent to defraud the credit union and make false statements to a federal credit union.
 
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, between 2005 and 2008 a former Greylock Federal Credit Union vice president authorized some $4 million in loans and loan modifications to Pierce and his five real estate development companies. 
 
While the office didn't name the banker on Wednesday, in 2014 Michael Dicenzo pleaded guilty to related charges in the case. Dicenzo worked at Greylock as a commercial loan officer from 2004 until 2009 and faced eight counts of fraud and a single count of making false statements to federal officials.
 
The loans issued to Pierce were in violation of the credit union's policies and caused the credit union to release funds "far in excess of what Pierce and his companies could reasonably receive or repay," according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. 
 
In exchange, the U.S. Attorney's Office alleges Pierce agreed to provide the former vice president with $134,773 in check payments to a "front company" created by the Greylock employee — those payments derived from Greylock loans —  free use of a home constructed by Pierce's companies, and free use of a vehicle — also purchased with Greylock loans. 
 
In 2010, Pierce is accused of falsely stating to Greylock that the money paid from his company to the  "front company" were payments for design work that the vice president's wife provided to Pierce for construction projects. Law enforcement said those statements were made based on the urging of the former vice president. 
 
The conspiracy charge against Pierce carries a prison sentence of up to five years, a fine of $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release. U.S. District Court Judge Mark G. Mastroianni scheduled sentencing for Oct. 3, 2018.
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Williamstown Accident Takes Down Utility Pole

Staff Reports

What appear to be skid marks are visible on the sidewalk west of the downed utility pole.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Traffic on Main Street (Route 2) was slowed mid-afternoon Wednesday as authorities cleaned up from a single-vehicle accident near the Spruces park.
 
An eastbound black Ford pickup appeared to cross through the westbound lane and collide with a utility pole.
 
First responders on the scene reported that the driver of the vehicle was not transported by the ambulance that responded to the accident.
 
The collision with utility pole damaged one nearby home by pulling the lines from the side of the house. There were no reports of outages in the vicinity.
 
The accident was reported at about 2:30 p.m. and cleared up about an hour later.
 
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Man Rescued After Getting Stuck in Lanesborough Cave

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Firefighters freed a man stuck upside down in a cave off Silver Street on Saturday night.
 
Fire Chief Charlie Durfee said the local man had slipped on wet rocks at about 9:15 p.m. while checking out a cave behind 96 Silver St. and fell head first into the cave opening. Durfee said the man was attending a birthday party when he and a friend took a walk to look at the caves.
 
He was stuck there for about two hours while the Western Mass Technical Rescue Team worked to free him.
 
"He was probably in the hole for about two hours," Durfee said.
 
More than a dozen local firefighters who serve on the technical rescue team was joined by another dozen from the Lanesborough Volunteer Fire Department on the call.
 
Durfee said he also received assistance from Dalton Fire Chief Gerald Cahalan and Pittsfield Fire Chief Robert Czerwinski. Durfee added that another one of the partygoers is a paramedic in another town and kept the man calm as they waited for first responders to arrive.
 
"It was tedious getting to where he was," he said. "It was a great team effort."
 
Durfee said freeing the man proved to be tricky because rescuers couldn't simply lift him out. But eventually, using a number of ropes, harnesses, and other tools, the man was freed and taken by County Ambulance to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield. He suffered only a laceration on the back of his head.
 
"These guys are highly trained in tactical rescues," Durfee said.
 
There are some 58 caves in Lanesborough and about half of them are located in the Silver Street area. But this the only cave rescue Durfee can remember.
 
"We've never had a cave rescue in the 37 years I've been on the department," he said. 
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