PITTSFIELD -- A Pittsfield man is being held without bail after allegedly threatening to kill his girlfriend with a machete.

Ricky Carroll, 23, of North Street, had been staying at the home of his girlfriend for several nights after having separated months earlier, according to testimony from the victim on Thursday in Central Berkshire District Court.

On Wednesday night, he became enraged after finding text messages to another man on her cellphone, the woman said, and they wrestled. Carroll allegedly smashed the cellphone on the floor and stomped on it.

The woman said she ran out to the hall for help and then ran back in to get her phone, at which time she said that Carroll pulled out a machete and threatened to kill her with it. She ran out of the apartment and called police with the help of a neighbor.

Carroll told police a different version of events, saying that the woman grabbed his neck, scratched him and punched him in the lip, leaving a bloody split lip after they argued over the text messages. After leaving the apartment, she charged at him. He pointed the sheathed machete at her but didn't take it out or threaten her, he said.

Carroll pleaded not guilty to charges of assault with a dangerous weapon, threatening to commit murder and vandalizing property.

Berkshire Assistant District Attorney Michael D'Angelo requested that Judge Paul Vrabel order Carroll held without bail for 90 days while he awaits a trial. "He is a danger to her," he said.


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Vrabel held a dangerousness hearing in which Caroll's attorney, Kenneth Warren Jr., said that the woman was the aggressor in the fight. "My client has significant injuries on him. She has no marks on her," he said. "It is unreasonable" to believe the woman's version of events considering Carroll's size and strength advantage, Warren said.

The victim testified that Carroll had been keeping the machete under their bed while he was staying with her. He allegedly would pull it out and pretend to stab her in a playful way, thought she said she didn't find it funny and asked him to stop. His actions didn't leave any marks on her, she said.

Asked by Warren if she was still in fear of Carroll, the victim said she was not. She was in fear the night before, she said.

She filed assault charges against him in 2009, though later refused to testify against him and the charges were dropped. The woman received a restraining order against Carroll in 2010, though she asked that the order be dropped after a month. Carroll was also charged with stealing $20 from the victim, D'Angelo said. They have two children together, ages 3 and 4.

The victim testified that Carroll provides financial support to her. D'Angelo said that the woman didn't want Carroll jailed because he supports her.

Carroll's mother and uncle both testified to having seen the woman act out violently. The woman admitted to threatening to harm her boyfriend in the past. She was once charged with assaulting him, Warren said.

Warren asked that Vrabel issue a no-contact restraining order against Carroll rather than keep him in jail. "They shouldn't be together," he said.

Vrabel elected to lock up Carroll for 90 days and issue a restraining order against him while his case heads for a pre-trial conference next month.

"He is a danger," Vrabel said.

To reach Nathan Mayberg:
nmayberg@berkshireeagle.com
or (413) 496-6243