PITTSFIELD -- A Superior Court judge who regularly sits in Hampden County and was recommended for a federal judgeship in 2011 has been given sole responsibility for the more than year-old Berkshire County triple homicide case involving alleged Hells Angel Adam Hall and his two co-defendants.
Chief Justice of the Superior Court Barbara J. Rouse appointed Judge C. Jeffrey Kinder to oversee the sprawling case that also involves David Chalue and Caius Veiovis. The appointment came after the defense attorneys and Berkshire District Attorney David F. Capeless requested a single judge preside over the matter.
Barring the success of a motion for a change of venue, it is likely that Kinder will travel to Berkshire County to oversee any proceedings in the case.
Until now, the sitting judge in Berkshire Superior Court has presided over court hearings when they were scheduled to take place. Two main judges -- Daniel A. Ford and John A. Agostini -- have presided over the proceedings in the last year and a half.
According to what the attorneys in the case have said, the hope is that having a single judge handling the case will streamline efforts at moving it forward.
Hall, 36, of Peru, along with Chalue, 46, of North Adams, and Veiovis, 32, of Pittsfield, allegedly kidnapped and killed Pittsfield residents David Glasser, Edward Frampton and Robert Chadwell in August 2011. The defendants maintain their innocence and remain in jail without the right to bail.
The victims' bodies were dismembered and disposed of in garbage bags that were later discovered buried on private property in Becket, according to court documents.
Police say Glasser was killed to keep him from testifying against Hall in an upcoming trial and that the other two men were killed to eliminate them as witnesses.
A fourth defendant, David Casey, 64, of Canaan, N.Y., is facing accessory charges for allegedly using his excavator to help bury the bodies. He too has pleaded not guilty and remains in jail on $1 million bail.
Following the defendants' arraignments on multiple counts of murder, kidnapping and witness intimidation in October 2011, thousands of documents related to the police investigation began pouring in, and continue to do so, say the defense lawyers.
This process, the resignation of several of the original defense attorneys and the re-indictment of the defendants by the district attorney's office almost a year after the alleged crimes were committed has stalled the case. As of now no status conferences have been scheduled, much less a trial date.
Kinder was appointed to the Superior Court bench in 2006. He his career as an assistant city attorney in Aurora, Colo. He then served as an assistant U.S. attorney in both Colorado and Massachusetts before going into private practice, according to various news reports.
In a letter to President Barack Obama in August 2011, then-Sens. John F. Kerry and Scott Brown recommended Kinder for the vacant federal judge seat in the U.S. District Court in Springfield.
The president has not nominated Kinder for the position, which remains vacant.
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