SPRINGFIELD -- Accused murderer Adam Lee Hall testified on Monday that he was denied access to a lawyer during police questioning in September 2011 before he and two others were charged with killing and dismembering three Pittsfield men.
"I asked a number of officers multiple times to [let me] call my attorney," said Hall. "They said they would be questioning me."
Hall, 36, of Peru, along with Caius Veiovis, 32, of Pittsfield, and David Chalue, 46, of North Adams, were in Hampden Superior Court for a hearing on several pending motions by their attorneys to preclude certain evidence from making it to trial.
Monday's hearing centered on two interactions between police and the three defendants on Sept. 4, 2011, before the three men were charged with multiple counts of murder, kidnapping and witness intimidation.
Police allege Hall, a ranking member of the local Hells Angels chapter, and his two co-defendants, kidnapped David Glasser, Edward Frampton and Robert Chadwell in the early hours of Aug. 28, 2011, and then killed them. The defendants deny the charges.
Massachusetts State Police Capt. Richard Smith told the court Monday that on the morning of Sept. 4, 2011, while a large police search for clues in the disappearance of the victims was going on in Pittsfield State Forest, officers observed Hall approach a police barricade, turn the Jeep he was driving around and head in the other direction. Hall denied being in the area at that time.
Police say they followed the vehicle and when the Jeep stopped to refuel at a gas station on Wahconah Street in Pittsfield, Trooper Michael Goonan and Pittsfield Police Investigator John Mazzeo approached Hall, Veiovis and Chalue.
According to Hall, soon after the two police officers spoke with them, many more law enforcement officials appeared at the station with "their hands on their guns" looking "like they were ready to do battle."
"They just came from everywhere," he said.
Mazzeo and Goonan told the court there were seven or more officers on scene and that Hall never asked them if he could call his lawyer. They acknowledged to Chalue's attorney, Donald W. Frank, that they hadn't witnessed every police "interaction" with the defendants that day.
Hall said he was told they couldn't leave. Under questioning by his attorney, Alan J. Black, Hall said he would have left if he hadn't been told they couldn't go. Smith said the men were not under arrest at the time.
Police seized Hall's boots and socks, the men's telephones and Veiovis' Jeep as evidence and then later searched the vehicle after getting a warrant, according to prior testimony by Smith.
At the time of the stop, the victims' bodies had not been found. The three men's remains were later discovered in a shallow trench in Becket. Police determined the victims had been shot to death and they believe Glasser was killed to prevent him from testifying in an upcoming trial against Hall, and the other two men were killed to prevent there being any witnesses.
While no evidence has yet to be found in Pittsfield State Forest, Smith told the court he still suspects the area is tied to the crimes.
If Judge C. Jeffrey Kinder determines police were not within their rights to seize the Jeep and other material, Berkshire District Attorney David F. Capeless could be barred from presenting the material and associated evidence at trial.
The second interaction on Sept. 4, 2011, involved the arrest of Hall on child pornography and other charges that evening for allegedly forcing a then-15-year-old girl to send him explicit photographs of herself. Those charges were later dismissed.
Black alleged the charges were just a way for the police to further investigate the homicide case.
Trooper Michael Scott, who investigated the case, denied this and said the charges were dismissed because the alleged victim was "extremely reluctant to go forward" with the prosecution.
During the stop, Black alleges several items not related to the porn charges were seized by police.
Although it is a Berkshire County case, Monday's hearing was held in Springfield, where Kinder mainly sits. The hearing for Hall, Chalue and Veiovis will continue on Nov. 21.
Kinder has yet to rule on whether the cases will be severed or if the trial will stay in Berkshire County.
Among other revelations at Monday's hearing:
n Capeless acknowledged prosecutors don't have any DNA evidence directly tying the defendants to the victims, but he said testing is still pending on a belt belonging to Veiovis, the driver's license of Hall and sneakers allegedly associated with Hall.
n Under cross-examination by Frank, Smith acknowledged Glasser had been in an alteration with three neighbors, identified in court as "whitey" and two African-American men, not long before Glasser and his friends' disappearance
To reach Andrew Amelinckx:
or (413) 496-6249
On Twitter: @BE_TheAmelinckx