From the Berkshire DA's Office

The Berkshire District Attorney’s Office secured a guilty verdict in a serious domestic violence case in the first trial since the court closed amid the pandemic.

A Central Berkshire District Court judge found Claude Bolling, 50, of Pittsfield guilty of single counts of assault and battery, witness intimidation, and violating an abuse prevention order.

Judge Jennifer Tyne sentenced Bolling to one year at the Berkshire County House of Correction, with nine months served. In November, Bolling beat a Lanesborough woman while demanding that she remove a restraining order issued against him. Judge Tyne found Bolling not guilty of larceny from a person and a separate count of witness intimidation.

In June, the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office presented an unagreed plea agreement to Judge Paul Smyth, who adopted the Commonwealth’s recommended sentence of five years’ incarceration. Bolling then withdrew from the agreement to take it to trial.

Following Thursday’s trial, the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office requested four years of incarceration while the defense asked for time served and probation.

“I thank Lanesborough Police for their investigation to help us secure these guilty verdicts. We are disappointed in the presiding judge’s sentencing decision but we will continue aggressively prosecuting domestic violence as the violent crime that it is,” District Attorney Andrea Harrington said.

“The first bench trial since the court’s shutdown is a milestone in our efforts to resume jury trials to hold violent perpetrators accountable for crimes committed against people in our community and fight on the behalf of victims promptly.”

The bench trial is the first case the court tried since mid-March. The Berkshire District Attorney’s Office remains committed to bringing cases to trial as soon as safely possible.

Berkshire District Attorney Andrea Harrington’s office serves all 32 cities and towns in Berkshire County. The office represents the Commonwealth in more than 7,500 criminal cases per year in Berkshire Superior Court, three district courts, three juvenile courts, Massachusetts Appeals Court, and Supreme Judicial Court. The office works closely with the State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office, the Berkshire Law Enforcement Task Force, and collaborates with local police departments across the county. A dedicated staff of more than 50 prioritizes public safety, empowering victims and witnesses through services and support, and building a safe community for everyone and especially the most vulnerable.

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