Pittsfield stabber gets 90-day suspended sentence
PITTSFIELD -- A man who stabbed a stranger outside a house party last September was given a suspended 90-day sentence and a year’s probation.
Police and prosecutors alleged Philip Obert Jr., 33, of Robbins Avenue, drunkenly stabbed Francis Quinn, a 50-year-old stranger in the chest and slightly nicked Amanda Gomes, a 24-year-old acquaintance, in the back with a knife outside a party on Linden Street. Quinn was at the house working on plumbing, according to the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office.
According to a police report, an intoxicated Obert attempted to start fights at the party, was convinced to leave and then returned five minutes later charging out of some bushes, waving the knife.
On Tuesday during a Jury of Six session of Central Berkshire District Court, Obert’s attorney, Michelle Mechta, said her client was severely beaten by several people at the party after he got in a shoving match with his relative. He went back to retrieve his glasses when the incident occurred, she said.
"He didn’t intend to stab anyone," said Mechta.
After being taken into custody at about 10:30 p.m. on Sept. 9, Obert slammed his shoulder into a police officer and tried to flee, according to police. He was taken to the ground by the officer.
Mechta said Obert was only trying to hide his badly beaten face from his mother, who had shown up, and wasn’t fleeing, but did bump the officer.
Obert pleaded guilty to two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery on a police officer and resisting arrest. A third count of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon was dismissed at the request of the prosecution.
Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Daniel Hespeler said while Quinn’s wound to the chest wasn’t life threatening, it was 5 centimeters deep and required stitches.
He asked for a nine month sentence in jail for Obert with a recommendation for in-jail alcohol treatment.
Quinn gave a victim impact statement and told the court, "I’d like to see him get help."
Mechta asked for a 90-day suspended sentence with a year of probation on the charges during which time he would not be allowed to drink alcohol.
Judge Thomas H. Estes went with the defense recommendation but included an added provision of no illegal drug use.
"You owe a debt of gratitude to Mr. Quinn," the judge told the defendant. He said it was the victim’s wish that Obert get help that swayed his decision.
Obert had been out on $500 bail.
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