PITTSFIELD -- Two men accused of last week’s drive-by shooting in Pittsfield will not be held without bail for 90 days as requested by the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office.
Shaun Silverio, 23, was held on $2,000 cash bail and Derrick Saunders Jr., 18, was released on $1,500 cash bail after a dangerousness hearing on Tuesday. Both men are Pittsfield residents. A third suspect, Terry Mar tizna, 23, of Lanesborough, remains held on $100,000 bail.
The three men allegedly opened fire on a Toyota RAV4 on Danforth Avenue about 4 a.m. Dec. 5 as they passed the vehicle in a silver BMW, according to Pittsfield Police. No one was injured by the shots, but the Toyota sustained several bullet holes. The two male passengers in the Toyota, ages 35 and 22, were waiting for a friend to come home. The men had been at a bar earlier in the evening, according to court testimony.
After Pittsfield Police Detective Nicholas DeSantis, who was off-duty and leaving work at the time, spotted the BMW on South Street, he notified Lee Police to be on the lookout for the vehicle.
A silver BMW driven by Silverio was stopped at a motel parking lot on Housatonic Street in Lee a short time later. Saunders was a back-seat passenger and Martizna was in the front passenger seat.
Police said they recovered bullet casings in the car and at the scene of the shooting and that Martizna had a loaded pistol magazine stuffed down his pants. A 9 mm handgun was later recovered in a Lenox Police cruiser in which Mart izna had been placed.
The men were charged with assault to murder, possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony, possession of a firearm and ammunition without a firearms identification card, and discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling. All three are charged with the crimes under the theory of joint venture, meaning that they are all considered equally culpable.
The men were arraigned last Friday. Silverio and Saunders were held without bail pending a hearing to determine if they posed a danger to the community. Martizna was held on $100,000 bail.
Silverio and Saunders ap peared before Central Berk shire District Court Judge Fredric D. Rutberg on Tuesday for a dangerousness hearing that had been requested by the DA’s Office.
One of the alleged targets of the shooting testified that because everything happened so fast, he could only make out that the shooters were in a silver vehicle. He denied telling police it was a BMW.
Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Jason Lederman told the court that the witness was obviously in fear of reprisals from the defendants for taking the stand.
The other alleged target of the shooting failed to show up for the hearing and a warrant was issued for him.
Lederman said the nature of the alleged crimes, shooting a gun from a moving car, was the epitome of dangerous.
"It doesn’t get any more dangerous than that," he said.
The attorneys for Silverio and Saunders said their clients had minimal or no criminal records and that the DA’s office hadn’t proved the men were dangerous. William A. Rota, representing Saunders, said there was no evidence to show his client was in the car at the time of the alleged shooting. Joshua C. Hochberg, Silverio’s lawyer, said there was no proof his client had any knowledge a shooting was going to take place.
The judge said the DA’s office failed to sustain its burden of proving Saunders was a danger to the community. He was released on $1,500 cash bail with conditions that include GPS monitoring, a curfew and no contact with the alleged victims or his codefendants.
In the case of Silverio, the judge said there was probable cause to find he was dangerous, but determined that there were less restrictive measures than holding him without bail for 90 days. As of Tuesday afternoon Silverio was still being held on $2,000 cash or $20,000 surety bail. If released, he will be under the same conditions as Saunders.
The defendants are due back in court Jan. 13, but the charges are likely to go to the grand jury.
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