Friday August 17, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- A 30-year-old city man facing an attempted murder for allegedly choking his girlfriend is being held on $1,000 bail following his arraignment on Thursday.

In Central Berkshire District Court, Joseph Fillio pleaded not guilty to felony attempted murder and witness intimidation and misdemeanor assault and battery.

According to the Pittsfield Police, on Monday morning around 4:30 a.m., Fillio punched his 25-year-old girlfriend in the face during an argument at their Westminster Street apartment, knocking her unconscious. When the woman awoke a short time later Fillio was on top of her, his hands around her neck, choking her, the woman later told police.

Fillio then allegedly took and smashed her phone and attempted to keep her from leaving the house. He eventually relented, according to a police report, and the woman fled to a neighbor's house and called police. Police said she suffered minor injuries.

Fillio was arrested on a warrant Thursday and brought to court the same day.

The Berkshire District Attorney's Office asked that Fillio be held on $2,000 bail, citing his criminal record, which includes a nine-month jail sentence for assault and battery. Fillio has had three restraining orders against him by other people, but not his girlfriend, according to the DA's Office.

Fillio's attorney, Jessica Byrne, told the court her client "categorically denies" the charges.


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Judge Rita S. Koenigs ordered Fillio held on $1,000 bail and scheduled a hearing for Sept. 14.