PITTSFIELD -- The third suspect in an alleged armed ambush of two men in Great Barrington last week is being held on $5,000 cash bail after pleading not guilty to a charge of conspiracy.
Louis Ely, 19, of Pittsfield, was one of three people involved in an Aug. 20 armed robbery of two Pittsfield men on Bridle Path Lane, according to Great Barrington Police. The men were lured there at about 6 p.m. and met with Theodore Labonte with the promise of being able to buy marijuana from him.
Labonte, 20, allegedly led them to an area overgrown with bushes where Andrew Dupont, 20, wearing a mask and carrying a shotgun, jumped out and demanded money. One of the victims ran into the woods with Dupont and Labonte chasing him. Dupont threw the shotgun at the man and tackled him before punching him and putting him into a chokehold, said police.
The man told police he had $3,000 in his pocket, but lied to Dupont and Labonte, telling them the money was in his car. He threw the keys to his friend before running off further into the woods and making his escape. He then called police.
The other victim said after his friend ran off, Labonte and Dupont ordered him into their vehicle and tried to get him to call his friend and get the money from him. He was eventually kicked out of the car and was found by police walking on Seekonk Cross Road.
The driver's license of one of the alleged victims was later found in Labonte's possession, police said.
While Ely wasn't there at the time of the incident, he set up the drug deal and helped in planning the robbery, according to a police probable cause report.
Ely, through his attorney, Thomas J. Donohue Jr., denied he had anything to do with the robbery. He admitted making the introductions between the alleged victims and Labonte in connection with purchasing marijuana.
Donohue said his client was being implicated by one of the other defendants in order to help his own case. He asked for $2,000 in bail.
Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Dana Parsons said it was likely Ely would be indicted by the grand jury on the same charges as the others as a co-venturer, meaning Ely would be culpable for the behavior of the others in the case. Those charges are much more serious and include armed robbery and armed kidnapping.
Citing the nature of the case and the possible penalties if convicted, Parsons asked that bail be set at $25,000.
Judge Fredric D. Rutberg ordered Ely held on $5,000 cash or $50,000 surety bail. Ely was still in custody as of Tuesday afternoon.
He is due back in Southern Berkshire District Court on Thursday.
Labonte and Dupont, both of Egremont, were charged with one count each of armed robbery, armed kidnapping, witness intimidation, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and possession of a firearm without a license. Dupont was additionally charged with armed and masked robbery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and assault to rob while armed.
Dupont is being held on $100,000 bail; Labonte's bail is $20,000.
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