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iBerkshires.com Columnist Section

Sue Bush
More articles from Sue Bush

Murder Case Moved To Superior Court

By Susan Bush
12:00AM / Thursday, August 24, 2006

Pittsfield - A Brooklyn, N.Y. man charged last month with the North Adams murder of a Bronx, N.Y. man has had the charges against him moved to the Berkshire Superior Court.

James J. Smith, 27, was arraigned on Aug. 24 on one charge of murder, one count of armed home invasion, two counts of assault by means of a dangerous weapon, one count of intimidation of a witness and one count of illegal possession of a handgun.

Superior court Judge Daniel Ford ordered Smith held without bail at the Berkshire County House of Correction. Smith has been held at the jail since a July Northern Berkshire District Court arraignment on similar charges. During that arraignment, Judge Michael J. Ripps ordered Smith be held without bail.

Smith was arrested on July 25 inside a Union Street apartment after
a police launched an manhunt following a July 25 pre-dawn shooting of 31-year-old Kijona Osmond.

Osmond was inside a 6 Secor St. apartment when Smith allegedly entered the home and shot Osmond twice. During a previous court hearing, Berkshire District Attorney David F. Capeless said that one shot was fired at the back of Osmond's head. Capeless also alleged that after Osmond was rendered helpless by the gunshot wounds, Smith then rifled Osmond's pockets seeking drugs and money. The shooting is believed connected to gang rivalry, Capeless said during the district court arraignment.

Smith has claimed that he shot Osmond in self-defense. Attorney Gregory Schubert, whose law office is in Northampton, has been appointed as Smith's legal counsel.

According to information provided by Capeless' office, Smith is also accused of committing an assault against a six-year-old girl and a 39-year-old man on July 25.

Susan Bush may be reached via e-mail at suebush@iberkshires.com or 802-823-9367.
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