PITTSFIELD — Amid an apparent lack of evidence, bail has been cut in half for the second suspect in a recent string of armed robberies throughout the city.
Damian Ivas, 40, of Pittsfield, had been held on $100,000 bail after being arrested Feb. 10 and charged in connection with the robberies.
He was identified by a co-defendant in the case as a conspirator, but prosecutors have yet to produce any evidence linking him to the crimes.
"These are based entirely on the statement of a co-defendant," said Ivas' attorney, Ed St. John III, about he charges against his client. "That is the only evidence. There isn't any forensic evidence of any sort."
George Bliss, 30, of Pittsfield, was arrested on Jan. 26 in connection with the six armed robberies between Dec. 23 and Jan. 24. Bliss told police that Ivas also was involved.
Both men pleaded not guilty in Berkshire Superior Court on Thursday to six counts of armed robbery while masked. Ivas also faces charges of assault by means of a dangerous weapon and resisting arrest for allegedly threatened officers with a knife.
Judge John A. Agostini acknowledged the concerns raised by Ivas' attorney.
"It's going to be a problematic case given the evidence," he said. But he cited a "very strong concern" Ivas wouldn't reappear in court.
Agostini set bail at $50,000 for Ivas. Bliss remains held on $100,000 bail.
Ivas is scheduled to appear in court on May 10 for a pretrial hearing.