Friday June 29, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- A second man has been indicted in connection with what police say was a holdup of a Dalton woman with the help of a purportedly HIV-infected needle.

John S. Decker, 19, of Dalton, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to single counts of armed robbery and home invasion at his Berkshire Superior Court arraignment before Judge Mary Lou Rup.

According to police and prosecutors, Decker and 19-year-old Jason Campbell, of Melrose, entered a High Street home April 14 and robbed 26-year-old Jennifer L. Dubis of $100, while threatening her with what was alleged to be a hypodermic needle filled with HIV-infected blood.

Police say Campbell was the main actor in the crime, while Decker, who was a acquaintance of Dubis, was present during the robbery and came into the house with Campbell.

Both men are facing the same charges under the theory of joint venture, meaning Decker would be considered just as culpable for the crime as his co-defendant.

Decker remains free on personal recognizance and was ordered to stay away from the alleged victim.

He is scheduled to be back in court in November with his attorney, Thomas J. Donohue Jr., for a pretrial hearing.

Campbell, who appeared in court Tuesday for a bail review, was denied lower bail and remains in jail on $75,000 surety bail.