Berkshire DA Resolves Multiple Cases as Courts Ramp Up Operations
The Berkshire District Attorney Office's Superior Court prosecutors resolved three notable cases and indicted three defendants as courts ramp up operations.
In-person hearings have returned as the Supreme Judicial Court lifted nearly all COVID-19 restrictions as of July 12.
Otis Man Pleased Guilty to Child Pornography Charges
- An Otis man pled guilty to two counts of photographing an unsuspecting person in the nude, and single counts of videotape or photograph sexual parts of children under the age of 18, and attempt to commit a crime, to wit: videotape, photograph, electronic surveillance another person who was nude or partially nude.
- Judge John Agostini sentenced David Roberts, 76, to serve one year at the House of Correction followed by two years of probation. Roberts must also complete sex offender and/or mental health counseling, and have no contact with the victim. Roberts is also subject to other conditions brought by the request of the Department of Probation.
- The Commonwealth recommended Roberts serve two and a half years at the Berkshire County House of Correction with three years’ probation afterward. Defense Counsel requested two years’ probation. The state sentencing guidelines suggest 0 to 24 months of incarceration.
30 Year Old Man Convicted on Kidnapping of a Minor Charges
- The Berkshire District Attorney’s Office also secured the conviction of Brandon Decker, 30, on three counts of kidnapping a minor by a relative and one count of conspiracy to commit kidnapping of a minor by a relative.
- Judge John Agostini sentenced Decker to two years’ probation with conditions that he undergo a substance abuse evaluation, follow the recommendations, and submit to random drug and alcohol screens. The court also approved a travel waiver in anticipation that he will serve his probation in South Carolina.
- During an arranged visit, Decker took his children from their grandmother. Authorities located Decker and the children in North Carolina.
- Judge Agostini issued a co-defendant, Gwendolyn Kimpel-Decker, 30, a continuance without a finding on three counts of kidnapping and a single count of conspiracy to commit kidnapping of a minor by a relative. In both cases, the Commonwealth requested two years at the Berkshire County House of Correction, while Defense requested two years’ probation. The state’s sentencing guidelines suggest 0 to 24 months of incarceration.
Former Pittsfield Police Officer Given Continuance on Improper Storage of a Firearm
- The court issued former Pittsfield Police Officer Miles Barber, 58, a continuance without a finding on a single count of improper storage of a large-capacity firearm. Barber left his weapon unsecured, allowing a 15-year to access it and sustain a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
- The Berkshire District Attorney’s Office requested a guilty finding with four to five years of incarceration. The Defense requested a continuance without a finding.
- The mandatory minimum incarceration time for the charge is four years. The Berkshire District Attorney’s Office previously offered to amend the charge to one that carries an 18-month minimum if the defendant admitted to his wrongdoing and avoided putting the victim through a trial.
Three Men Indicted on Robbery, Assault, and Bomb/Hijack Threats
- The Berkshire District Attorney’s Office secured Grand Jury indictments against Anthony Vega, Raphael Ellison, and Miguel Santiago.
- Vega faces charges of unarmed robbery, bomb/hijack threat with serious public alarm, assault and battery on a disabled person, and resisting arrest. Ellison is facing charges of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, assault and battery causing serious bodily injury, strangulation, assault with a dangerous weapon, and kidnapping with serious bodily injury. Santiago faces nine counts of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, five counts of rape, and single counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, assault, and kidnapping.
- All three will be arranged in Superior Court next week.