David Chalue's trial set to begin Tuesday
SPRINGFIELD -- The second of three men charged in the triple murder that has riveted the Berkshires will be heading to trial Tuesday.
David Chalue, 47, of North Adams, is facing nine charges for his alleged participation in the kidnapping, torture and killings of three city men in August 2011 with the help of Adam Lee Hall and Caius Veiovis.
Police and prosecutors alleged Chalue, a member of the Aryan Brother hood, a white supremacist prison gang, was involved in the planning, execution and cleanup of the killings. He has denied three counts each of murder, kidnapping and witness intimidation and is being held without bail.
Featured in his trial will be the testimony of four inmates expected to say he admitted to the killings.
On Aug. 28, 2011, with Tropical Storm Irene bearing down on the Berkshires, David Glasser, his roommate, Edward Frampton, and their friend Robert Chadwell hunkered down at Glasser and Frampton's Linden Street apartment in Pittsfield. That night while Glasser and Chadwell sat on the floor playing video games and Frampton worked on a computer nearby, it's alleged Hall, 37, and his co-defendants entered the home and kidnapped the men.
According to the testimony at Hall's trial, the victims were taken to the woods and as the rain poured down, they begged for their lives. Where the victims were actually killed remains a mystery, but investigators continue to believe Pittsfield State Forest somehow played a role. The murder weapons were never recovered.
The victims' remains were found in garbage bags that were discovered buried on private property in Becket.
The police investigation quickly centered on Hall, of Peru, Chalue and Veiovis, 33, of Pittsfield.
Hall is believed to have killed Glasser to keep him from testifying against him in another case. The other men were killed to eliminate any witnesses.
Hall was found guilty of multiple charges in February following his trial in Hampden Superior Court and was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences plus 42 years.
At sentencing, Judge C. Jeffrey Kinder said the crimes were unlike anything he had previously encountered in his career as a judge.
He said over the course of a few years, Glasser was stalked, intimidated, beaten, abducted and finally murdered and mutilated while his two friends were "abducted, stabbed and decapitated" because they had "the misfortune" of being present when Glasser was abducted.
Chalue's upcoming trial, set to begin with jury selection Tuesday in Hampden Superior Court, is expected to take about a month to try since Berkshire District Attorney David F. Capeless will be presenting in essence the same evidence as in Hall's case -- plus the testimony of several jailhouse witnesses who are expected to testify that while awaiting trial Chalue made incriminating statements, including admitting to the killings.
Jason Lemieux, Jethro Kempton, Jeffrey Cashman and Chris Letalien all are expected to testify against Chalue.
Cashman, 45, alleged he had conversations with Chalue while at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center about possible membership in the Aryan Brotherhood and about Chalue's involvement in the three killings. He said Chalue also gave him discovery material in the case.
Chalue denied admitting to the killings or to giving any material related to the case to Cashman.
Letalien, 29, said he and Chalue were in the segregated unit of the Berkshire County Jail & House of Correction in 2011 when Chalue angrily told him he had "three bodies" that he "made disappear" and who were "found cut up in the bottom of a ditch" 14 days later.
Chalue's attorney, Donald W. Frank, had argued that Cashman and Letalien had elicited the allegedly incriminating statements while acting as government agents in violation of Chalue's rights.
Kinder denied the defense motion to keep Cashman and Letalien from testifying.
As of Friday afternoon, Kinder still hadn't ruled on two major issues -- whether the prosecution will be allowed to highlight Chalue's membership in the Aryan Brotherhood, as well as on a motion filed by Frank asking the judge to dismiss the charges or suppress any evidence from a series of police searches of Chalue's jail cell.
Frank said his client's civil rights were violated when police investigators went through, and on some occasions confiscated material, that were protected by attorney-client privilege, including paperwork of trial strategy.
According to statements allegedly attributed to Chalue, he served about 19 years in both state and federal prison before his arrest on these charges. Lemieux alleged Chalue had served time for bank robbery.
The trial was moved from Berkshire County due to pretrial publicity.
Veiovis has been scheduled to go on trial Sept. 2. As of now, it will be held in Hampden Superior Court in Springfield. He has denied the charges.
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