SPRINGFIELD - David Chalue and Adam Lee Hall allegedly pulled out several guns from a bag of dog food and handled them the same weekend police say they shot three city men to death.
Berkshire District Attorney David F. Capeless began digging into the heart of the triple murder case against Chalue on Tuesday with testimony from several witnesses who said they had seen Hall, Chalue and a third defendant, Caius Veiovis, the weekend in late August 2011 when Tropical Storm Irene hit the Berkshires. It was the same weekend when David Glasser, Edward Frampton and Robert Chadwell went missing.
Chalue has denied three counts each of murder, kidnapping and witness intimidation.
Allyson Scace, 24, who met Hall that summer, said she and her friend, Kayla Sewell, also 24, were with Chalue and Veiovis at Veiovis' Pittsfield apartment on the evening of Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011, when Hall came in with a large bag of dog food. He and Chalue pulled out "three or four" pistols from the bag and began to discuss them and take them apart, she testified.
"It was guy talk," she said during testimony in Hampden Superior Court. "They were checking them out." Hall sat down and began to clean one of the weapons, she told the jury.
Under cross examination by Chalue's attorney, Donald W. Frank, Scace said she did not see Chalue keep any of the guns.
According to Steven Hinman, Hall had picked the guns up earlier that night at his house in Lenox where Hall had been storing them.
The guns used in the killing of the three men were never recovered.
Earlier that same day, the three defendants were seen together at a Hells Angels-sponsored party in Springfield. They were seen getting into a tan or gold Buick Century at one point. This is the same car in which the victims' remains were transported to the burial site in Becket, according to Capeless.
Under cross-examination by Frank, Springfield Police Detective Hector Santiago said Chalue didn't arrive at the party with the other two men.
Several other people testified on Tuesday afternoon to seeing Hall that weekend. Edwin Sutton said Hall showed up at his house about 1:30 a.m. Sunday, was "eerily calm" and put his hand on Sutton's shoulder, something the witness said Hall had never done before. He said Hall got into the passenger side of a Jeep and drove off in the direction of Linden Street.
Under cross-examination, Sutton said he hadn't mentioned that Hall didn't get into the driver's seat before because no one had asked him that question.
Shane Parrott, the manager of A-Mart in Pittsfield, told the jury that about 5 a.m. that Sunday, Hall came to the store and purchased three Charleston Chews candy bars, a pack of Black & Mild cigars and a pack of Marlboro cigarettes. Parrott said Hall was wet and his T-shirt and boots were wet and dirty.
"He paid in cash and the money was wet and crumpled," he said.
Parrott told the jury that it had been raining on and off that morning but Hall looked much wetter than he would have gotten just walking from his car, which was parked close to the door, into the store.
He said he didn't hear him talking to anyone in the car - a tan Buick - and he couldn't see if anyone else was in the car because it was dark due to the storm and the windows were fogged up.
Victoria Ross, a Pittsfield real estate broker, said she saw all three of the defendants together that Sunday afternoon. Ross said she had seen Veiovis around and knew he was dating one of her tenants in a rental property she had that abutted her property.
That Sunday, she said she looked out her window to see what the weather was doing and noticed Veiovis "huddled" together with two other men - one wearing a motorcycle vest with patches and the other with a shaved head or close cropped hair. She later identified the others as being Hall and Chalue. She said she recognized them when she saw their photographs in an Eagle article about the case. From the stand she identified Chalue as the person she saw that day with the other men.
Under cross-examination, she admitted that an earlier hearing she said she couldn't positively identify Chalue because she only saw part of his face.
She had also told police the third man was taller than Hall but from the stand said she hadn't been focusing on the men's height and believed the height discrepancy between Hall and Chalue was "slight." Frank maintains his client is much shorter than Hall.
The trial continues Wednesday.