PITTSFIELD -- An alleged drug addict that police say allowed his sick mother to live in filth with little food and no medical care was arraigned on Wednesday in Berkshire Superior Court.
Christopher A. Harrison, 44, of Pittsfield, pleaded not guilty to caretaker abuse or neglect of an elder and a charge of making a threat to commit murder.
Judge John A. Agostini set bail at $5,000 cash, $50,000 surety bond, the same amount that was set for the defendant in Central Berkshire District Court following his arrest last month by Pittsfield Police.
If Harrison is released on bail, he will be required to stay away from his mother and another family member whom he allegedly threatened if she sought help for his mother.
A Pittsfield Police report described the condition of the Jubilee Terrace apartment where Harrison lived with his 67-year-old mother as "not fit for habitation."
Used hypodermic needles, adult diapers, and other trash were strewn around the apartment, according to the report. Inside the refrigerator, there were only "a couple of boxes of leftover French fries, and some other substance that I was unable to identify as food," an officer stated.
The woman told the officer that she was diabetic, hungry and thirsty and couldn't recall the last time she had eaten. The woman had trouble walking. Police said she was suffering from "dementia-like" symptoms.
Police went to the apartment on Feb. 22 after learning of the woman's condition from other family members who had gone to the apartment after learning that Harrison had gone into a detox program.
According to police, Harrison had threatened to kill a family member if she took his mother away, which would lead to him losing her Social Security check. He also allegedly used the hypodermic needles intended for his mother's diabetes medication to inject street drugs.
The 67-year-old woman was treated at Berkshire Medical Center and later released.
Her current address is unknown.
To reach Andrew Amelinckx:
or (413) 496-6249.
On Twitter: @BE_TheAmelinckx