Pittsfield man with ‘violent history’ sentenced for beating woman


PITTSFIELD -- A Pittsfield man with "a history of violence" is serving 20 months in jail after admitting to twice beating a woman and threatening her on Facebook.

In March, James E. Killins, 29, grabbed a woman he was dating by the neck, pushed her to the ground and slammed her face into the floor causing scratches, swelling and abrasions, according to the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office. Killins got physical when the 20-year-old woman refused to let him use her phone to call another woman, said prosecutors.

The next month, after the two had broken up, Killins went to the house where the woman was staying, argued with her, called her vulgar names, slapped her and then picked up the woman’s shoe from the floor and hit her in the head with it, according to police.

In May, he threatened the woman on Facebook calling her a "dead [expletive] walking," he admitted.

On Tuesday in the Jury of Six session of Central Berkshire District Court, Killins pleaded guilty to two counts of felony assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and single counts of threat to commit murder and assault and battery.

Assistant District Attorney Dana Parsons and Killins’ attorney, William B. Barry, presented the court with a joint recommendation totaling 20 months in jail.

Barry said his client was taking responsibility for his actions.

The joint sentence request will also cover three other charges, including witness intimidation, which have not yet been filed but also stem from the Facebook threats, Parsons said.

Judge Matthew J. Shea sentenced Killins in line with the recommendation.

Killins was credited with 39 days he has already served in jail awaiting the outcome of his case because he was unable to make $50,000 cash bail.

Parsons said Killins has "a history of violence" and previously served jail time on assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and assault and battery charges, as well as for drugs.

In 2010, Killins and another man were arrested in Great Barrington after a fender bender on Main Street turned up cocaine, ecstasy and prescription pills in the car Killins was riding in. During the incident, he hit a police officer, fled the area on foot, and was arrested later the same day by state police in Alford after he was seen riding a bicycle there, according to Eagle archives.

He was sentenced to two years and a day in jail on that case.

To reach Andrew Amelinckx:
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