Judge delays dangerousness hearing for man accused of beating girlfriend
PITTSFIELD -- A Guatemalan man remains in jail without bail after a district court judge gave prosecutors more time to provide evidence that the defendant is a dangerous person.
Winston Perez, 22, who resides in Pittsfield, is accused of abusing his 48-year-old girlfriend to the point she was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery and could have died, according to police.
Perez' attorney, David C. Cafarelli, contends that her internal bleeding wasn't caused by Perez but rather from a pre-existing medical condition. The attorney said the woman made the allegations because Perez broke up with her.
On Wednesday, a dangerousness hearing was held in Central Berkshire District Court before Judge Paul M. Vrabel. The alleged victim took the stand and told the court through a Spanish language interpreter that she met Perez in Atlanta, Ga., and that the abuse started when they moved to Pittsfield in August 2011.
"He has an explosive character, violent," she said.
Perez pulled her hair, punched and kicked her on numerous occasions, she said. She left him several times but always returned to him. The woman said the last time hit her was in late-November.
She was rushed to the hospital on Dec. 31 and underwent emergency surgery for internal abdominal bleeding. Police allege the bleeding was due to a number of blows to the stomach she received from Perez several months earlier.
The medical report given to the judge did not specifically state that the bleeding was caused by trauma and may have been related to a pre-existing medical condition.
Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Marianne Shelvey told the court the medical report was incomplete. The police report contains statements from a Berkshire Medical Center surgeon who said the bleeding was due to trauma, the prosecutor said.
Unsatisfied, the judge delayed the hearing to allow the prosecution to gather more information concerning the medical reports. The hearing is scheduled to reconvene next Wednesday.
If found to be dangerous, Perez could be held for up to 90 days without bail.
A federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement "hold" has been filed against Perez, meaning that the agency will take control of the defendant for possible deportation proceedings following the results of his criminal case.
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