Judge sentences man to 20 days in jail for insulting DA
PITTSFIELD — In the case of Daniel Bateman, one word is worth 20 days.
That's how long he was sentenced to jail Friday after he called a female assistant district attorney a "bitch," during a proceeding in Central Berkshire District Court.
Bateman, 30, of Pittsfield was in court as the result of a default warrant, which was issued in June after he failed to appear for a hearing in a larceny case.
Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Megan Tesoniero asked for Bateman to be held on bail as a result and Judge William Rota set it at $500.
While Bateman was being escorted out of the courtroom after being taken into custody, he made his comment to Tesoniero while he passed her.
Rota had Bateman brought back into the courtroom, charged him with immediate contempt of court and told his attorney, Joseph Colonna to consult with him prior to a sentencing hearing.
At that hearing, Colonna said, "I doubt that there is any excuse for (Bateman's) behavior," and said he understood Rota was likely "infuriated," by it.
Bateman himself apologized and said he made the comment after reacting out of fear of losing his job and his bed at a Springfield rehab facility due to his detention on bail.
"I was scared and I acted out of that," Bateman said. "I have things to fight for."
Rota said he has a courtroom to manage and not imposing some kind of sentence for such outbursts sets a poor precedent for the next person who decides to disrupt proceedings.
Rota ordered him held at the Berkshire Jail and House of Correction until July 28 when his larceny case will be heard at trial.
Contact Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249.
TALK TO US
If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.