Thursday May 3, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- Pittsfield Police have filed charges against a man who allegedly threatened Meredith Nilan if "the justice system doesn't come through," apparently in reference to a pending case in which Nilan is accused of leaving the scene of an accident that left a man with a broken neck.

Trevor J. Moore, 31, whose current address was listed as Las Vegas in court records but has ties to Cheshire, is scheduled to be arraigned on June 27 on single counts of making harassing telephone calls and threatening to commit murder.

Nilan, 24, is the daughter of Clifford Nilan, the chief of probation at Berkshire Superior Court.

Trevor J. Moore is not related to Peter Moore, the victim of the hit-and-run.

According to a police report, on Feb. 29 and on March 1, Trevor J. Moore made harassing phone calls to Lynne Nilan, Meredith's mother, and left threatening messages on the family's voicemail.

On Feb. 29, at about 9:45 p.m., Lynne Nilan answered their home phone and a "husky male voice whispered ‘Meredith better be punished, or I'll take care of it myself,'" a police report indicated.

The next morning, at around 8:37, Lynne Nilan received another call in which the man threatened to kill her daughter.

"I told the caller to ‘get a life' and that he was a ‘cellar dweller' and I hung up the phone," Lynne Nilan told police.

Two minutes later, Trevor J. Moore allegedly called back and left a message on the Nilans' voicemail.

"I'm not a cellar dweller, but I'm gonna make sure that she's taken care of if the justice system doesn't come through this time," the message said, in part, according to the police report.

Meredith Nilan was driving her father's car the evening of Dec. 8 when she struck 45-year-old Peter Moore on Winesap Road in Pittsfield as he walked his dog, according to police.

The misdemeanor charges of leaving the scene of a personal injury accident and negligent operation of a motor vehicle came via an appeal following a Jan. 12 show cause hearing before Westfield Clerk Mag istrate Nathan Byrnes, who found "no probable cause" to allow the charges to go forward. Springfield Dis trict Court Judge William P. Hadley decided the case warranted pressing the charges and overturned the earlier decision to halt them.

Lynne Nilan told the police that she and her family have been "afraid for quite a long time because of the things that have been posted about my daughter and our family on the Internet. These calls have put a voice to the terrible things that have been said and written."

Meanwhile, a hearing in the Meredith Nilan hit-and-run case, scheduled for Wednesday, has again been postponed by agreement until June 6, the second time the case has stalled since her arraignment in February.

Nilan briefly appeared in Central Berkshire District Court on Wednesday, but the case was postponed until June 6 when the defense will argue to dismiss the charges.

Wednesday's event marks the first in-person appearance in court of both Nilan and the case's special prosecutor, Worcester-based As sistant District Attorney Joseph A. Quinlan.

Timothy Shugrue, who represents Nilan, said the prosecution just turned over information in the case and that he and Quinlan haven't had "much of a chance to discuss the case."

This was confirmed by Quinlan on Tuesday.

"I just gave [Shugrue] a big binder of police reports and other information," he said.

Quinlan has been brought in to handle the case because of the Berkshire District At torney's office close working relationship with Clifford Nilan in his capacity as chief of probation.

On June 6, Shugrue will be arguing to dismiss the charges, based on what he believes is a violation of his client's due process. He said that he didn't receive any notification of the redetermination from the police department, which prevented him from presenting his client's side of the story to Hadley.

To reach Andrew Amelinckx:
aamelinckx@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6249.
On Twitter: @BE_TheAmelinckx