Hinsdale Man Pleads Guilty to Murdering Kassedi Clark
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Hinsdale man responsible for the murder of Kassedi Clark pleaded guilty Monday in Berkshire Superior Court.
Michael Boulais, 34, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, reckless endangerment of a child, and improper storage of a firearm.
Judge John Agostini sentenced Boulais to serve life in prison at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction without parole on the first-degree murder charge.
Boulais shot and killed the 24-year-old Clark on April 13, 2018. Clark and Boulais had been in a relationship for nine years and had four children together. They were estranged at the time of her murder, which occurred during an argument at Boulais' Hinsdale home.
Clark attended Taconic High School and was studying to be a nurse, with an interest in becoming a midwife, according to her Facebook profile.
"I send my condolences to Kassedi's family and friends for their tragic loss," District Attorney Andrea Harrington said.
"This is a just outcome for yet another domestic violence homicide in our county. I thank the law enforcement personnel for their investigation into the matter and our victim witness advocates for helping the family cope with such a terrible situation."
State police units including the crime lab and investigative services, Hinsdale and Dalton Police Departments, and Berkshire County sheriff's office conducted the investigation.
Becket Man Sentenced to State Prison for Human Trafficking
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Becket man pleaded guilty on Monday in Berkshire Superior Court to human trafficking charges.
Randy Lambach, 47, was sentenced to 10 to 12 years in state prison by Judge John Agostini on nine counts of human trafficking, seven counts of deriving support from prostitution, and single counts of intimidation of a witness, and conspiracy.
Lambach had been charged with two counts of enticing a child under the age of 16, and single counts of open and gross lewdness, and dissemination of harmful matter to a minor. Agostini ordered him to serve five years concurrently on those charges and an additional five years probation. Lambach also pled guilty to a single count of rape. Agostini ordered him to serve five to seven years in state prison, concurrently, on that charge.
In total, he will serve 10 to 12 years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction and on probation for 10 years afterward.
The conditions of probation include that Lambach register with the sex offender registry board, have no contact with any of his victims, have no contact with children under the age of 18, complete sex offender, mental health, and drug and alcohol evaluations and comply with all related treatment recommendations and guidelines. He also must comply with drug screens and not purchase, possess or consume any regulated drugs without a valid prescription.
The Berkshire District attorney's office praised the significant effort of the Pittsfield Police Department for its lengthy investigation into the trafficking operation. The charges date back to 2014 and, for years, Lambach coerced women into forced prostitution.
"Human trafficking is one of the world's fastest growing criminal activities, operating on the same scale as the illegal trade of guns and drugs, and this case demonstrates that human trafficking occurs right here in our community," District Attorney Andrea Harrington said. "My office is working with law enforcement to empower sex-trafficking victims who are often vulnerable women who are preyed upon by greedy and brutal people. We are grateful for the diligent collaboration with the Pittsfield Police Department in holding this perpetrator accountable and making our community safer for women and girls."
Pittsfield Man Found Guilty of Rape, Assault & Battery
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Pittsfield man was convicted Monday of aggravated rape and assault charges by a Berkshire Superior Court jury.
Anthony Miller, 51, was found guilty of aggravated rape, strangulation, kidnapping, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery on a family or household member, and witness intimidation. Judge John Agostini will sentence him on Thursday, Dec. 19.
Miller severely beat, strangled, and raped the victim multiple times earlier this year. He then prevented her from leaving the home. He was arrested and arraigned in March and held without bail at the House of Corrections. Miller has a lengthy rap sheet and prior convictions of violent behavior.
"This is another example of how my office aggressively prosecutes perpetrators of domestic violence and sexual assault. We are holding Mr. Miller accountable for his actions thanks to a great investigation by the Pittsfield Police Department, the courage of the victim to tell her story, and resolute prosecution by my office," District Attorney Andrea Harrington said.
"We are addressing the serious issue of domestic violence in Berkshire County through prevention, education, and fighting for justice on behalf of victims."
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Megan Tesoniero.
Two Get Maximum Sentences In Domestic Violence Cases
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Two men who pleaded guilty in domestic assault cases last week were given the maximum jail sentences 2 1/2 years at the Berkshire County House of Correction.
Steven Signor, 32, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty in Central Berkshire District Court to two counts of assault and battery on a household member, two counts of violating an abuse prevention order, and single counts of assault and battery on a pregnant woman, resisting arrest, intimidation of a witness, breaking and entering, and vandalism.
Judge Mark Pasquariello sentenced Signor serve 2 1/2 years, the maximum allowable sentence for a single charge in District Court.
The charges relate to four separate incidents over the last year and a half. The Berkshire district attorney's office cited Signor's repeated behavior and disregard for court orders in asking for the maximum sentence. The defense argued for a one year sentence.
Jonathan Therrien, 30, of Adams pleaded guilty in Northern Berkshire District Court to assault and battery on a household member and violation of an abuse prevention order. The charges relate to an incident on Nov. 1 in Adams.
The DA's office requested the full 2 1/2-year sentence, noting a lengthy record of similar convictions in other states. The defense asked for one year. Judge Paul Vrabel sentenced Therrien to the full sentence.
"We obtained these guilty pleas thanks to comprehensive investigations by the Pittsfield and Adams police departments and are examples of how my office is working with law enforcement to prioritize violent crime. Berkshire County has the highest domestic violence rates in the state. These statistics represent real families who are living in violent homes," District Attorney Andrea Harrington said in a statement. "We are making every effort to prevent tragedy both to the individuals who are suffering from abuse, to local law enforcement who face risk every time they respond to domestic violence incidents, and to the public at large who face increased risk of gun violence from domestic abusers."
State Police Arrests Uncover 1,000 Bags of Heroin
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — State police on Monday night arrested three people on drug charges after a traffic stop on Brown Street.
Sgt. Jorge Berrios, who is assigned to Troop B Berkshire Community Action Team (CAT), stopped a 2011 Chevrolet Cruze at about 7:45 p.m. for a motor vehicle violation. Berrios also learned, just prior to stopping the vehicle, that the registered owner has a suspended driver's license.
The driver, Clinton E. Jennings, 35, of Pittsfield, was not the registered owner and is unlicensed, according to state police. With the assistance of Troopers Amy Shaughnessy and Justin Dauplaise, who are also assigned to the CAT, the driver as well as two passengers, Traylee M. Harrington, 25, and Nicholas J. Mathes, 24, both of Pittsfield, were found to be in possession of heroin.
In total, approximately 1,000 bags of heroin was located in the vehicle, as well as several items with cocaine residue in Harrington's possession. All three were placed under arrest and transported to state police barracks in Cheshire for booking.
All three were charged with trafficking in heroin and conspiracy to violate drug laws; Jennings is also charged with unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and improper turn, and Harrington with possession of Class B drug (cocaine).
Jennings was held on $10,000 bail. Harrington and Mathes posted $40 bail, pending their arraignment. All three were scheduled for arraignments on Tuesday in Central Berkshire District Court.