Saturday October 6, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- A District Court judge determined Ansel Sparrow, accused of a home invasion earlier this week, is a dangerous person and ordered him held without bail following a hearing on Friday in Central Berkshire District Court.

Sparrow’s girlfriend says he didn’t do it and was with her at home at the time of the crime.

Judge Fredric D. Rutberg said there were no other conditions that would protect the community other than holding Sparrow without bail. He cited the randomness of the crime and the defendant’s previous record as factors for his decision.

Sparrow, 22, was arrested Tuesday following an early morning home invasion of a West Housatonic Street apartment in which one of the residents was pistol whipped and suffered lacerations to his face and head. The other victim suffered minor injuries.

The two residents said they woke up to two men standing over them, one with a gun, the other a knife, who were screaming "where’s the... bread." The intruders were wearing hooded sweatshirts pulled tightly around their faces to obscure their identities, according to police.

A struggle ensued between Terance Moore, 25, and the attacker with the pistol, and Moore was struck several times in the head. The two suspects ran out of the house without taking anything.

The two witnesses identified Sparrow as one of the attackers based on his voice and build. They said they only knew him as "Yameen."

Sparrow had come by the house earlier that evening to visit Moore’s sister, according to court testimony.


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A second defendant, Ste ven Lesley, 18, allegedly told police after his arrest that he had driven Sparrow and another unidentified man to and from the scene of the crime, but hadn’t gone inside.

The lead investigator in the case, Pittsfield Police De tective Timothy Koenig, told the court on Friday that some of Sparrow’s clothes tested "presumptively positive" for blood as did Lesley’s clothing.

Sparrow’s girlfriend, Ashlee Pemble, 24, told the court on Friday that at the time of the home invasion she and Sparrow were at a local diner and then they went home to bed. She said she woke up twice, at about 3 a.m. and again at about 5:30 a.m., and Sparrow was still sleeping. She said Sparrow doesn’t own a handgun to her knowledge.

Attorney Raymond J. Ja coub said his client shouldn’t be held, telling the court there was "no motive," no gun and "hinky" identification of his client, since it was based on voice recognition.

Assistant Berkshire Dis trict Attorney Marianne Shel vey said the attack was "a random act of violence" and that there was evidence Sparrow was involved in the crime. She also pointed out the defendant’s prior criminal history as one of the reasons for holding him.

She said he was a "validated Bloods gang member" who served three years for a house break-in in which a gun was stolen.

Rutberg ordered Sparrow held for up to 90 days without bail. The defendant is scheduled to be back in court on Nov. 2.

Shelvey said her office was planning on bringing the charges to the grand jury.