Friday November 2, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- A city man accused of putting a loaded gun into his ex-girlfriend’s mouth outside a house party last weekend was held on Thursday without bail for 90 days as a dangerous person.

But two partygoers who said they witnessed what happened denied the defendant pulled a gun on the woman, whom they said lied to police.

In Central Berkshire District Court, the attorney for Nicholas J. Konton, 21, of Woodlawn Avenue, told the court that the allegation made by the 17-year-old ex-girlfriend of the defendant "isn’t supported by the facts."

According to the Pittsfield Police, at about 2 a.m. Sunday during an altercation on the corner of Danforth Avenue and Seymour Street, Konton stuck a loaded gun into the teen’s mouth and pulled the trigger, but the gun didn’t fire.

Konton was arrested a short time later as he walked down Kent Avenue. Police said they recovered a .22-caliber Ruger pistol from Konton’s backpack and that he later admitted the gun was stolen. His backpack also allegedly contained marijuana and a small amount of cocaine and drug-dealing paraphernalia.

He pleaded not guilty to seven charges on Monday, including armed assault to murder, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, and several gun and drug charges. Konton was held until Thursday’s hearing before Judge Paul M. Vrabel.

On Thursday, Pittsfield Police Officer David Kirchner, who was the first officer on the scene that night, told the court that the alleged victim was "hysterical" and jumped into the back of his cruiser when he pulled up.

He said that in all his discussions with the woman she continued to break down in tears when retelling her story. He believed she was telling the truth.

"You can’t fake that kind of behavior," said Kirchner.

The teen didn’t appear to be intoxicated, he told the court.

This was in contrast to what two defense witnesses said in court. According to 17-year-old Maxine Santiago of Pittsfield, the alleged victim, was so drunk she could barely walk and was "harassing" Konton. Santiago said she never saw a gun and that there hadn’t been a physical confrontation between the alleged victim and Konton. She admitted she also had been drinking.

James Pierson Jr. of Pittsfield also took the stand for Konton. He told the court Konton never pulled a gun and had only argued with the 17-year-old.

Pierson admitted his girlfriend, Melissa Mason, 20, of Pittsfield, had scuffled with the woman, but said the teen was the aggressor. Mason has also been charged in the case. On Tuesday in the same court Mason pleaded not guilty to armed assault to murder (as a joint venture) and assault and battery and was released on $500 bail. Her attorney, Michelle Mechta, said that the complaining witness exaggerated what happened.

Police said Mason attacked the woman, bit her breast and wouldn’t let go.

Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Mary-Elizabeth Mack told the court Konton was dangerous and should be held without bail to ensure the safety of the alleged victim and the community.

Vrabel found probable cause to hold Konton as dangerous based on the defendant allegedly being found with a loaded gun. Konton can be held for up to 90 days. The judge also revoked bail on a pending case in which it is alleged the defendant broke into a home with two other men, stole a truck and then set it on fire.

He is due back in court on Nov. 8.