Pittsfield man gets 2 1/2 years in jail for assaulting girlfriend
PITTFIELD -- A Pittsfield man with a record of assaulting women was sentenced to two and a half years in jail after being convicted by a jury for the latest incident.
Garrett Vil, 22, was handed the sentence by Judge Paul Vrabel in Central Berkshire District Court on Thursday following his conviction by a Jury of Six.
Vil had been charged with assault and battery in December, after his girlfriend told police that he punched her in the face and choked her in a hotel room. According to the victim, Vil had been upset that she didn’t stand next to him at a party.
The Berkshire District Attor ney’s Office recommended that Vil be sentenced to one year in jail and one year of probation, while the victim’s attorney, Ryan Smith, asked for a sentence of one year in jail.
Vrabel said that Vil was "not a candidate for probation," given his record, and sentenced him to the maximum of two and a half years in the Berk shire County Jail & House of Correction. He called the latest incident "very serious."
Assistant District Attorney Rachael Amato said that Vil showed a "disturbing pattern of violence." In 2011, he pled guilty to assaulting a woman. In 2012, he was charged with as saulting his pregnant girlfriend though that case was dismissed.
Smith said that Vil never had a father in his life and had moved around from New Jersey to Detroit before arriving in Pittsfield.
While Smith acknowledged that it is "terrible what happened" in the latest case involving his client, he said "these aren’t the most significant (injuries). There weren’t any broken bones."
The jury deliberated for approximately 90 minutes after the morning trial before unanimously finding Vil guilty.
Following the verdict, the victim spoke and said Vil "needs time in jail." She said he also needs counseling. "He needs to learn how to not be violent against others."
Smith requested a stay of execution on the sentence pending his appeal, stating that the jury had been privy to prejudicial testimony in regards to Vil’s nickname "Jersey," and an exchange between Vrabel and Smith, which he said put the defense in a bad light.
Vrabel ruled against the re quest and said Smith had a right to file an appeal. The evidence against Vil, which included testimony by the victim and photographs of her cut lip, bruised jaw and bruised arms, was "overwhelming," Vrabel said.
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