Pittsfield Resident Victim of Alleged Murder in Greenfield

By Sabrina DammsiBerkshires Staff
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A man found dismembered in a barrel in Greenfield on Monday has been identified as Pittsfield resident.
 
The Northwestern District Attorney's Office identified victim as Christopher Hairston, 35, and subsequently arrested a suspect, Taaniel Herberger-Brown, 42, at Albany (N.Y.) International Airport on Tuesday.
 
The Daily Hampshire Gazette reported that Herberger-Brown told investigators he planned on visiting his mother outside the country. 
 
Herberger-Brown was detained overnight, and the State Police obtained an arrest warrant on a single count of murder on Tuesday morning, the Greenfield Police Department said in a press release.
 
According to a report written by State Police Trooper Blakeley Pottinger, the body was discovered after Greenfield police received reports of a foul odor emitting from the apartment along with a black hatchet to the left of the barrel, the Greenfield Recorder reported. 
 
Investigators discovered Hairston's hand and part of a human torso at Herberger-Brown’s former apartment, located at 92 Chapman St, the news outlet said. 
 
According to the Daily Hampshire Gazette, Herberger-Brown originally told investigators that he had not been to the apartment in months because he had been in and out of hospitals. 
 
The news outlet reported that Herberger-Brown allegedly changed his story, claiming that he had gotten into a physical altercation with the victim towards the end of which the victim's "heart stopped," 
 
Herberger-Brown allegedly claimed that the victim broke into his apartment, and he believed the victim was on drugs. 
 
This is not the first time Herberger-Brown, a Navy veteran, has had run-ins with the law. 
 
Greenfield Recorder reported that in 2008, Herberger-Brown was arrested on kidnapping and assault charges in Northampton, faced assault and battery charges in 2018 when he lived in Sunderland, disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace charges in 2019, and faced misdemeanor breaking and entering charges in 2020. 
 
The news outlet reported that a term of his probation for the 2020 incident, he was ordered to take medication and continue mental health treatment. 
 
The Daily Hampshire Gazette reported that Herberger-Brown’s neighbor Kayleigh Miller described the suspect as "a ‘super nice and super polite guy’ who would often lend a hand around the community, babysitting for some of his other neighbors."
 
The official cause of death is yet to be determined. The case is still under investigation by the state police detective unit, the state crime scene service section, and the Greenfield Police Department. 
 
Hairston, a drummer, graduated from Taconic High School in 2007 and Berkshire Community College in 2020
 
He had not posted on his social media accounts for about year but his Facebook page is filled with friends expressing their sorrow. They describe him as an "extraordinary musician" and kind man who had a tough life.
 
It is yet to be determined when Herberger-Brown will return to Massachusetts for the arraignment on the murder charge. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will determine the official cause of death.
 
The case remains under investigation by the Greenfield Police Department, the State Police Detective Unit attached to the Northwestern District Attorney's Office, and the Massachusetts State Police Crime Scene Services Section.

 


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Pittsfield Girls Softball to Host New England Regional

Community submission
PITTSFIELD, Mass. – Pittsfield Girls Softball will host the New England Babe Ruth Regional Tournament at the Doyle Softball Complex from June 28 to June 30.
 
The tournament will feature 15 teams, including the Berkshire Force 12-and-under and 14-and-under travel squads. The event will get under way at 8 a.m. on Friday and run through about 3:30 p.m. on Sunday.
 
Winners from the tournament will advance to the 40th anniversary Babe Ruth Softball World Series in Florence Ala., in July.
 
“The Pittsfield Girls Softball League extends its appreciation to the City of Pittsfield and all of our event sponsors for their assistance in making this tournament possible,” PGS President Jack Roy said in a Tuesday news release.
 
For more information about the tournament, contact Roy at 619-318-3908 or royjack254@aol.com.
 
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