Ex-con denies he attacked three women in Pittsfield home


PITTSFIELD -- An ex-convict accused of attacking three women during a domestic disturbance on Thursday pleaded not guilty to five felony charges on Friday, telling the court he was set up by his former girlfriend.

Marcus Fowlkes, 26, of Prospect Street in Pittsfield, allegedly showed up at a Bradford Street residence about 10 p.m. Thursday and began arguing with his 23-year old former girlfriend, slapped her around, threw her into a wall and burned her with a cigarette, according to Pittsfield Police. Fowlkes also allegedly choked the woman's 19-year-old sister when she tried to intervene and shoved their 55-year-old mother into a door before the three women were able to get him out of the apartment.

"I didn't do that," Fowlkes said on Friday in Central Berkshire District Court. He pleaded not guilty to four felony counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and single counts of felony domestic assault and battery as a subsequent offense and misdemeanor assault and battery.

Fowlkes said he was set up by the woman who was out to get him because he broke up with her. He said he was lured to the apartment and that any wounds his ex-girlfriend suffered were self-inflicted.

His attorney, Thomas Sherman Jr., said the woman was a known drug user. He told the court no one even bothered to call police for two hours after the alleged attack and that as soon as Fowlkes learned the police wanted to question him he turned himself in. The attorney asked that Fowlkes be released on personal recognizance.

Sherman represented Fowlkes for the bail hearing, but the defendant said he planned to hire his own attorney.

The Berkshire District Attorney's Office was seeking $5,000 cash bail in the case, citing the defendant's previous record and the "violent nature" of the new charges.

Fowlkes said he served time for a crime he didn't commit. In 2008 he was found not guilty in Berkshire Superior Court to charges related to a 2005 drive-by shooting. He was incarcerated for more than a year awaiting the outcome of the case. He later served time on charges that included carrying a dangerous weapon -- a knife -- and a school zone drug violation, according to Eagle records.

On Friday, Judge Fredric D. Rutberg ordered Fowlkes held on $500 cash or $5,000 bail bond.

Fowlkes was still being held as of Friday afternoon. He's due back in court Sept. 27.

To reach Andrew Amelinckx:
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