Friday September 7, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- A city teen involved in the beating and robbery of a 62-year-old man last year agreed on Friday to accept a judge's sentence of 18 months in jail -- the same sentence the defendant had rejected a month ago.

Chad M. Hodecker, 19, of Curtin Avenue, was once again in Central Berkshire District Court's Jury of Six session to try and plead out his 2011 case. Twice before, he pulled his plea after two different judges refused to go along with the defendant's sentencing request, citing the brutal nature of the March 7, 2011, attack that left Charles Helde with severe injuries.

According to police, Helde, who was 61 at the time, was walking back to his home on Richmond Avenue from the Harry's Supermarket on Wahconah Street when he was confronted by two young men. Helde was taunted by the pair at first and was then hit in the head, knocked to the ground, beaten and robbed of $300. Helde was found lying in the street unconscious by a passer-by. His nose, cheekbones, eye sockets and jaw were broken.

Hodecker's co-defendant is a juvenile. His case remains pending.

Hodecker's attorney, Marc C. Vincelette, has said that while his client was there during the attack, he did not participate in the beating.

Hodecker was charged with the attack under the theory of joint venture, meaning he was equally culpable for the crime.

On Friday, Hodecker pleaded guilty to single counts of aggravated assault and battery and larceny over $250 and was sentenced by Judge Paul M.


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Vrabel to 18 months in the Berkshire County Jail & House of Correction. Vrabel was the same judge that offered the defendant the 18 month sentence on August 7.

Hodecker is already serving a three month jail sentence for a drunken driving accident and the judge allowed the new sentence to be served concurrently with that one.