Sunday July 15, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- A city woman who had pleaded guilty to robbing an 82-year-old man with a knife late last month while in a drug-induced haze was sentenced to serve three years in state prison Friday in Berkshire Superior Court.

Chantelle M. Most a.k.a. Chantell Most, 29, of Madison Avenue, had pleaded guilty to assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon on a person more than 60 years old and armed robbery of a person more than 60 years old.

The two felony charges had been filed in Berkshire Superior Court through a district attorney’s complaint. That type of complaint allows the charges to bypass consideration by a grand jury, which considers indictments for those accused of felony crimes, and goes straight to the higher court.

According to police and prosecutors, Most robbed Raymond Petell of Hinsdale on June 27 while she was a passenger in his car.

Petell picked up Most in his car as she was walking on North Street and drove her to East Housatonic Street. He told police he gave Most $5 just before she pulled a knife, and stole $23 and his cell phone before jumping out of the car.

Petell suffered small cuts on his shoulder and wrist during the altercation, police said.

Petell had allegedly been warned by a friend about Most shortly before the incident took place. The friend had told Petell that Most had propositioned him earlier that day, according to the police report.

Most’s attorney, Thomas J. Donohue Jr., told the court his client had no memory of the robbery because she was high on drugs when it took place, but believed there was enough evidence to prove that she committed the crime.

Superior Court Judge John A. Agostini approved an agreed upon sentencing recommendation between the prosecution and the defense that requires Most to serve at least two years and no more than three years at the Massachusetts Correctional Facility in Framingham, which is a medium security prison for female offenders that has a substance abuse program.

First Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Paul J. Caccaviello told the court that he believed the sentence was appropriate given the crime and Most’s previous record.

Most had previously served jail time after being convicted in January 2011 of charges filed in two separate cases. In one case, Most pleaded guilty to 51 counts, including forgery and larceny. In the other, she pleaded guilty to possession of a class B substance, assault with a dangerous weapon and larceny from a person.

Donohue said that Most had wanted to resolve the case involving Petell almost from the beginning, and that she planned to attend substance abuse counseling while in prison.

The investigation was conducted by members of the Pittsfield Police Department.