New lawyer for man charged in Pittsfield fatal hit-and-run

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PITTSFIELD — The suspect in a January fatal hit-and-run crash has a new court-appointed lawyer.

Robert D. Smith's original attorney, Nathaniel Green, had to withdraw from the case Monday due to conflicts of interest involving potential witnesses in the case.

Smith, 39, has been charged in the Jan. 19 death of 53-year-old Gerald P. Scott Jr., who was struck while riding his bicycle on Linden Street.

Attorney Edmund St. John IV was appointed Thursday to take over the case during a brief hearing in Berkshire Superior Court before Judge Daniel Ford.

Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Daniel Hespeler is also asking the court to impose a condition upon Smith that would prohibit him from driving a vehicle while out on personal recognizance.

St. John said he had only just received the case Thursday. While he said he plans on opposing that motion, he wasn't prepared to argue against it.

That matter will be taken up Aug. 17.

Smith, of Pittsfield, entered not guilty pleas to charges of leaving the scene of a personal injury accident with death resulting; misleading a police officer; attempt to burn a motor vehicle and tampering with evidence in the crash that killed Scott.

The car that struck him allegedly did not stop following the collision. Scott was pronounced dead at the scene.

The car was found the next day in Pittsfield. Smith is alleged to have attempted to destroy evidence by burning the vehicle.

Reach staff writer Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249 or @BobDunn413 on Twitter.


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