PITTSFIELD -- Three county men remained in custody on Friday after pleading not guilty to charges related to an alleged drive-by shooting on Danforth Avenue early Thursday.
Terry Martizna Jr., 23, of Lanesborough, Shaun Silverio, 23, and Derrick Saunders Jr., 18, both of Pittsfield, are all facing two counts of assault to murder for allegedly taking part in a shooting at a vehicle which had two occupants. The men are being charged with assault to murder under the joint venture theory, though police and prosecutors only allege that one gun was used.
All three were charged with discharge of a firearm within 500 feet of a building, firearm use in a felony, use of ammunition and a firearm without firearm identification cards. Martizna faces a separate class B drug possession charge for allegedly having two oxycontin pills.
Terry Martizna, who rode in the front passenger seat of the vehicle, is accused in the criminal complaint of possessing a 9 mm handgun clip, which was found when he was searched at the Pittsfield police station.
Lee and Lenox police had stopped a BMW owned by Martizna and driven by Silverio after a report of a silver BMW fleeing the scene of the 4 a.m. shooting. Pittsfield Police Det. Nicholas DeSantis, who was off-duty at the time, spotted the BMW and followed it from Pittsfield into Lee.
After stopping the vehicle in Lee, police handcuffed all three men and put them into separate Lee and Lenox police cruisers. A search of the police cars later that day allegedly turned up a 9mm handgun, which had been stuck under the safety partition separating the front and rear compartments of a Lenox police cruiser that Martizna was transported in. Police say the magazine clip fit the gun.
Police initially responded to shots fired at a Toyota Rav4 parked at Danforth Avenue. The two occupants, ages 22 and 35, were unharmed and the 35-year-old identified the silver BMW initially to police. However, when police brought him to Lee to identify the vehicle, he told them it wasn’t the same BMW.
According to the criminal complaint, he told police he "didn’t want to get too deep into it." He refused to provide a recorded or written statement. The driver told police he did not see the vehicle in which the attackers were in.
The two men told police they were sitting in the vehicle listening to music while waiting for their 22-year-old friend to arrive before their vehicle was struck by bullets. The bullet holes were found on the front driver’s side and rear driver’s side passenger doors. The bullets did not penetrate through the doors.
Four shell casings were found on the ground in the roadway, two of them were of a .380 caliber handgun and the other two were of a 9 mm gun. Martizna’s attorney, Tom Doyle, said it’s possible there could be two guns involved. Police said the 9 mm gun was capable of firing both types of bullets.
In addition, a spent .380 caliber shell casing allegedly was found behind the front passenger seat of the BMW.
The men were arraigned on Friday in Central Berkshire District Court in Pittsfield in front of Judge Frederic Rutberg,
Silverio’s attorney, Josh Hochberg, said his client did not know that a shooting was about to take place when he drove the vehicle to Danforth Avenue.
The attorney for Saunders, David Pixley, objected to his client not being arraigned in a timely manner. Pixley said Saunders should have been arraigned within six hours of his arrest, instead of more than 24 hours later.
Silverio and Saunders Jr. were ordered held without bail until they reappear at 9 a.m. Tuesday in Central Berkshire District Court for a dangerousness hearing.
Martizna is scheduled to appear in Southern Berkshire District Court in Great Barrington on Jan. 2 to answer outstanding drug possession with intent to distribute charges, for a Nov. 7 drug bust in Lenox in which four ounces of marijuana was found in a car he was driving. He is due back in Central Berkshire District Court on Jan. 3 for the shooting charges. His bail was set at $100,000 cash.
To reach Nathan Mayberg:
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