Friday September 14, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- A 39-year-old man has pleaded guilty to multiple felonies for abusing his on-again, off-again girlfriend and was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in jail followed by two years of probation.

Superior Court Judge John A. Agostini, who agreed to the capped sentence presented by the prosecution, told Dominic Simonetta that he deserved state prison and was "getting a break."

Agostini told Simonetta he believed he would end up in state prison anyway since the defendant's chances of making it through probation were "nil."

Simonetta, 39, of Pittsfield, was in Berkshire Superior Court on Wednesday for three separate incidents, two in 2010 and a third last year, involving the abuse of 43-year-old Virginia L. Langlois.

In the latest incident, which took place last October, Simo netta repeatedly beat his girlfriend unconscious while keep ing her a prisoner in their home for four days, according to a police report.

In the earlier incidents, he cut her neck with a knife, threatened to kill her, and pushed her down a stairway.

On Wednesday, Simonetta pleaded guilty to five counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, three counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, two counts of assault and battery, and single counts of witness intimidation and threatening to commit murder.

Second Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Robert W. Kinzer III said that the couple had "a toxic relationship centered around alcohol."

He said the sentence would allow Simonetta "a real opportunity to deal with his alcohol issue."

"In the 35 years I've been a lawyer, I've seen alcohol destroy a lot of people. ... I haven't seen it nearly kill two people and that's what happened in this case," said Simonetta's attorney Alex ander Z. Nappan.

Nappan said Langlois also has an alcohol-based criminal record.

He said his client's relationship with Langlois went beyond toxic because "the pull was so strong neither of them could resist it."

Nappan asked for a two-year jail sentence and probation.

Simonetta has already served more than a year in jail awaiting the outcome of his case.

The judge ordered Simo netta serve 2 1/2 years at the Berkshire County Jail & House of Correction followed by two years of probation that includes no drugs or alcohol, random testing, counseling and that he stay away from the victim. If the defendant violates those conditions, he could be ordered to serve prison time.

Single counts of kidnapping and assault to murder and two counts each of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery, and witness intimidation were dismissed at the request of the DA's office.

The case was investigated by the Pittsfield Police Department.

To reach Andrew Amelinckx:
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