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Great Barrington Police Charge Driver for Leaving Scene of Accident

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Police have charged a local man with leaving the scene of an accident that snapped a utility pole in two. 
 
Sgt. Paul Storti, while on patrol, at about 2:30 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 24, discovered the downed pole and wires across the road at the intersection of Routes 23 and 71. The vehicle had left the scene and appeared to be heading west on Route 71. 
 
The pole and wires caused the roadway to be blocked while utility companies cleaned up the scene. The road re-opened around 10 a.m. on Friday.
 
The investigation uncovered information on the whereabouts of the vehicle and the owner. The vehicle was located at a local business in Egremont and Egremont Police provided assistance.
 
The vehicle's owner admitted to having the accident, according to police.
 
Johnny T. Kanagy of Pumpkin Hollow Road was issued a citation and charged with leaving the scene of an accident. He will appear later in Southern Berkshire District Court.
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Man Sentenced to Life for Murder of Christa Steele-Knudslien

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The murderer of Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien will spend life in prison. 
 
Mark Steele-Knudslien, 49, pleaded guilty on Thursday in Berkshire Superior Court to second-degree murder in the death of his wife. Judge John Agostini sentenced him to life in state prison, with parole eligibility in 25 years.
 
Steele-Knudslien had killed Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien, his wife of less than a year, on the evening of Jan. 4, 2018, in their North Adams home by stabbing her and striking her with a hammer. 
 
"I send my heartfelt condolences to those who loved Christa dearly and the entire transgender community who looked up to her as a leader," said District Attorney Andrea Harrington. "This is yet another horrific domestic violence homicide in the Berkshires. My office focuses on holding perpetrators of these crimes accountable and this sentence will keep a very dangerous person away from the community for years to come."
 
Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien was well known in the transgender community in the region. She was the first transgender person killed in 2018 and her death had helped spark awareness of the vulnerability of transgender people to violence and domestic violence in general. 
 
"I thank the Adams, North Adams, and Massachusetts State Police for their investigation which gave us the evidence we needed to secure this conviction and sentence," Harrington said. "We are holding the perpetrator accountable for his actions."
 
State Police detectives assigned to the district attorney's office, members of the North Adams and Adams police departments and State Police Crime Scene Services Section conducted the investigation.
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Arrest Made in Adams Gas Station Armed Robbery

The suspect is seen entering the store on Dec. 26 in this video screenshot.
ADAMS, Mass. — A North Adams man was arrested over the weekend for the armed robbery of the Mobil Gas Station on Dec. 26, 2019.
 
Detective Michael Wandrei worked alongside members of the Berkshire County Law Enforcement Task Force, and patrol officers of the Adams Police Department to secure an arrest warrant for the man on the charge of armed robbery.
 
He was arrested by members of the State Police in Springfield and will be held pending arraignment in Northern Berkshire District Court.
 
The Howland Avenue convenience store was robbed of an undisclosed amount of cash and cigarettes by an individual who entered at 12:15 a.m. and threatened the clerk with a knife. The person was wearing an oversized hooded sweat shirt and had a shirt or scarf covering mouth and nose. 
 
"We are thankful for the tremendous amount of work put in by the detective, with a special thanks to dDetectives of the North Adams Police Department, and other members of the Berkshire County Law Enforcement Task Force to ensure that this individual was arrested and will be brought forth before the court to answer to such charges," states the release from the Adams Police Department. 
 
No further information is available at this time.
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No One Injured in Readsboro Roll Over

READSBORO, Vt. — A New York City man avoided injury when his Infiniti rolled over on Route 8 on Monday morning. 
 
State Police Trooper Colin Shepley reported that Liu Chang, 31, was northbound in a 2019 Infiniti QX8 when he lost control, when off the road and struck a ledge, rolling the car onto the driver's side. 
 
First responders were called to the scene at about 9:45 a.m. and found that all the occupants had been able to get out of the car. There had initially been a call for the Jaws of Life in case of entrapment. State Police had been advised that no one was injured prior to their arrival. The operator had been wearing a seat belt. 
 
Readsboro Fire Department, Stamford Fire Department, Northern Berkshire (Mass.) EMS and Heartwellville Towing assisted at the scene. 
 
Chang was issued a warning for operating too fast for conditions. He was reportedly traveling at 30 mph but the road was slushy and snow-covered and temperatures were in the single digits.  
 
The Infiniti is considered totaled. 
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Pittsfield Man Sentenced for Domestic Assault Convictions

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Pittsfield man was sentenced Friday to the maximum jail sentence for domestic abuse after being convicted by trial. 
 
Judge Jennifer Tyne sentenced Andrew Rossetti, 32, of Pittsfield to 2 1/2 years at the Berkshire County House of Correction on a single count of intimidation of a witness.
 
He will serve concurrent time on counts of assault and battery, assault with a dangerous weapon, drug possession, threat to commit a crime, lewd wanton and lascivious conduct, and assault and battery on a household member.
 
Police arrested Rossetti on Sept. 5, 2019, after being reported for multiple domestic assaults and intimidation. The court ruled him to be a danger to the community and held him without bail.
 
A District Court jury last week found him guilty of threatening the victim. The jury found him not guilty on single counts of assault and battery on a family or household member, assault with a dangerous weapon, assault, and another count of intimidation of a witness.
 
He then pleaded guilty to the other charges relating to three other open cases.
 
Rossetti is a registered sex offender, stemming from a rape conviction in 2008, and has a lengthy criminal history dating back to 2003. He has faced numerous assault charges throughout the state. Six different women had taken out abuse prevention orders on him in that span.
 
"My office focuses on removing dangerous people from our community. This is an individual who has a long record of violent behavior. We took a difficult case to trial and were able to secure a sentence that protects individuals, the public at large, and law enforcement, which are at an increased risk when responding to these types of calls," District Attorney Andrea Harrington said.
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