Prosecutor seeks to keep Pittsfield gun, drug suspect with 'assaultive' history in custody

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PITTSFIELD — Jerrel L. Hall has exhibited an escalating pattern of "assaultive and erratic behavior" dating back to at least 2003, when he was 11, and should be held without bail.

That was the conclusion of Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Veronica LeClair, who argued in Berkshire Superior Court on Tuesday to keep Hall in custody pending his trial on weapons and drug charges.

But his attorney, Ryan Smith, argued at Hall's dangerousness hearing that his client was not found in possession nor control of the handgun.

Hall, 20, was found hiding in a bedroom closet last month with heroin and a handgun nearby. The gun was on a bed on which a juvenile co-defendant in the case was lying when police found the pair.

Police were canvassing the Circular Avenue neighborhood on May 23 while investigating a shooting incident from the previous evening when they spotted Hall outside of one of the buildings.

When they went to speak with Hall, who had an open warrant in an unrelated matter, he'd already left the area.

Officers were given permission by Hall's mother to search the residence at 61 Circular Ave., where they found the pair in a bedroom, recovered a loaded .22 caliber handgun and a bag containing 228 bags of heroin inside the closet in which Hall was hiding.

Smith said he believed prosecutors would proceed with a joint possession theory in order to charge both men, but said there was "pretty slim" evidence to support that.

He argued for releasing Hall on $7,500 bail with the added conditions of a curfew, living with a family member, reporting to probation and submitting to GPS monitoring.

But LeClair noted as a juvenile, Hall incurred several assault and battery charges against victims including fellow students and his own grandmother. She said Hall also has previous firearms possession charges and 18 defaults on court appearances and seven violations of probation on his record.

She said Hall could potentially face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Hehas pleaded not guilty to charges of possession of heroin with intent to distribute (second offense), being an armed career felon, illegal possession of a firearm (second offense) and possession of a firearm with a defaced serial number.

Judge Maureen Hogan took the matter under advisement.

Hall is due back in court on Oct. 4 for a pretrial hearing.

Contact Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249.


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