PITTSFIELD -- A city man who allegedly put a knife to his ex-girlfriend's throat will be held without bail for 90 days after a judge ruled him to be a dangerous person.

Vaughn Ashley, 20, of Third Street, also allegedly punched a hole in the wall before a friend dragged him out of the house, according to police and prosecutors. As Ashley was leaving the house Thursday at about 1:30 a.m., police arrested him.

The ex-girlfiend testified in Central Berkshire District on Monday that she had dated Ashley for about seven years. The relationship was "toxic" and both got into physical altercations with the other, she said. She never called police because she said she was in love with him.

After a breakup with Ashley this past summer, she went to a women's shelter in Vermont and returned to Pittsfield in September, she told the court.

On Wednesday, the day leading up to the incident, she said she had been texting with Ashley and they had tentatively agreed to meet up later in the night. But she stopped taking his calls, she said, because she knew he was going to be drinking. That's when he showed up at her house with a knife, while she was hanging out with her friends, she said.

Under cross-examination by Ashley's attorney, Jill Sheldon, the woman admitted there had been a man at the residence that night that she failed to tell police about. She said he attempted to disarm Ashley and left the house before police arrived.

According to Sheldon, Ashley recently had been "jumped" at a party held by a friend of the complaining witness and was cut on the face and back of the head. Sheldon said the alleged victim's friends had sent threatening texts to Ashley.

Sheldon told the court there was a "credibility issue" with the ex-girlfriend, since she failed to tell police there was a man in the house at the time of the incident or that she had planned to meet up with Ashley later that night.

Sheldon said there were less restrictive means than holding her client without bail, including GPS monitoring and a curfew.

Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Andrew Giarolo told the court that the alleged victim was still in danger from Ashley and the only way to protect her would be to hold the defendant without bail.

Judge Fredric D. Rutberg said the DA's Office met its burden both that there was probable cause the crimes occurred as well as that releasing the defendant could endanger the ex-girlfriend. He ordered Ashley held at the Berkshire County Jail & House of Correction as a dangerous person for 90 days.

A restraining order against the defendant was also allowed by the court. Ashley did not fight it.

He is due back in court Jan. 13. His case may end up in Superior Court.

To reach Andrew Amelinckx:
aamelinckx@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6249.
On Twitter: @BE_TheAmelinckx