Thursday September 13, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- In the latest turn in a 2011 triple slaying case, Adam Lee Hall's attorney is seeking to withdraw because of "a total breakdown" in his working relationship with his client.

On Wednesday in Berkshire Superior Court, Hall, 35, said he believed a breach of trust existed between him and William A. Rota and that they didn't agree on how the case should proceed.

Hall also said he didn't trust any Berkshire County lawyer to handle his cases. Hall, who has a total of six cases in Superior Court, also asked that he be given two attorneys, one to handle his murder case and another to deal with the other five.

In court, Hall, of Peru, had an easy-going demeanor, looking around the courtroom with a half-smile on his face. At one point, he leaned toward an Eagle news photographer and said, "[Rota] is trying to sandbag me. I've known him for 20 years."

Rota did not elaborate in open court on his reasons for wanting to withdraw from the case. He also declined to speak with The Eagle after the hearing ended.

Judge John A. Agostini hasn't made his decision yet on whether he would allow Rota to step down. He said he would decide within a week.

Police say Hall, a member of the local Hells Angels chapter, and two others kidnapped and killed Pittsfield residents David Glasser, Edward Frampton and Robert Chadwell in August 2011.

The men's bodies were later found buried in a trench on private property in Becket.

The case has seen a number of delays with the latest coming last month when Berkshire District Attorney David F. Capeless brought the case back to the grand jury and reindicted Hall and his co-defendants, David Chalue, 45, of North Adams, and 32-year-old Pitts field resident Caius Veiovis.

A fourth man, 63-year-old David Casey of Canaan, N.Y., has been charged as an accessory to the crimes for allegedly helping to bury the victim's bodies.

The next hearing in the case is scheduled for Sept. 20.

Besides his latest charges -- three counts each of murder and kidnapping and four counts of witness intimidation, Hall has five other open cases that go back to 2009 and include gun, drug, child pornography, and kidnapping charges.

Two of the previous cases involved Glasser and allegedly led to his eventual murder.

In 2009, police say Hall beat Glasser with a baseball bat because he believed he had stolen from him. The next year Hall allegedly tried to frame Glasser for a robbery in New York in order to discredit him as a witness. Glasser disappeared just weeks before Hall's cases on these charges were scheduled to go to trial.

Police and prosecutors allege that Glasser was killed by Hall and his co-defendants to keep him from testifying and that the other two victims were killed to eliminate any witnesses.

If Rota is allowed to withdraw from the case, he will be the fourth attorney to pull out of the triple murder case. Veiovis is the only defendant who has had the same attorney, James Gavin Reardon Jr., since being charged.

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