PITTSFIELD -- A Troy, N.Y., man was sentenced to two years in jail Friday after admitting to his role in a North Adams robbery in January 2013.

Leonard Ellis, 43, and a co-defendant, Barton Jones, 33, also of Troy, allegedly took money from a stranger in the stairwell of a North Adams apartment building on the evening of Jan. 4, according to the Berkshire District Attorney's Office.

The man had gone to the apartment to loan a female friend $50 and when he entered the hallway Jones was waiting for him while Ellis and the woman stood at the top of the stairs.

Jones allegedly told him to give them whatever money he had. When the man tried to leave, Ellis came down the stairs toward him with what he believed was a knife and a fight broke out between Barton and the victim that eventually spilled into a neighbor's apartment, said Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Rachael Eramo.

Eramo admitted the victim was on heroin at the time and had given two statements to police and only mentioned the knife in the second interview.

During the incident, Ellis reached into the man's pocket and took $390 before he and Jones fled with the woman in tow, according to the a police report. The woman wasn't charged in the alleged robbery.

They were apprehended in Troy, N.Y. and were later returned to Massachusetts. Police said when arrested Ellis had $240 in cash on him.


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Jones and Ellis were charged in New York with kidnapping after the woman told police she had been taken against her will by the pair and driven to Troy. She said she had tried to stop the assault, according to a police report.

The charges in New York were later dismissed.

Ellis, appearing with his attorney, Raymond J. Jacoub, pleaded guilty in Berkshire Superior Court on Friday to a charge of larceny from a person.

He had originally been charged with armed robbery, but as part of the plea deal he was allowed to plead to the lesser charge.

Ellis also pleaded guilty to assault with a dangerous weapon and assault and battery.

Judge John A. Agostini sentenced Ellis to two years at the Berkshire County Jail & House of Correction in line with a joint recommendation between the DA's Office and Jacoub.

Ellis has been in jail awaiting the outcome of the case since January 2013 and will receive credit for the time served.

The case against Jones remains pending.

The investigation was conducted by members of the North Adams Police Department and state police detectives assigned to the District Attorney's Office.

To reach Andrew Amelinckx:

aamelinckx@berkshireeagle.com

or (413) 496-6249.

On Twitter: @BE_TheAmelinckx