Prosecutors to drop weapons charges against suspect in Pittsfield slaying


PITTSFIELD — A co-defendant in the November 2014 slaying of a Goshen man has been re-indicted on murder and robbery charges in the case.

Peter J. Campbell, 19, of Pittsfield, is still facing a charge of second-degree murder and two counts of armed assault with intent to rob, in the death of Anthony Gamache. But weapons charges, which were included in the initial December 2014 indictment, are expected to be dropped.

First Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Paul Caccaviello said the change reflects new information that has come to light during the investigation.

That information led to the arraignment in Berkshire Superior Court on Monday of Laquan Johnson, 20, on charges of second-degree murder, armed assault with intent to rob, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and illegal possession of a firearm.

Campbell and Johnson allegedly attempted to rob Gamache, in the parking lot of the Big Y supermarket on West Street in Pittsfield on Nov. 18, 2014.

Johnson allegedly fired a shot into Gamache's leg, which chipped his femur and became lodged in his limb.

Gamache, 29, was driven to Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton and then transported to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, where he was treated and released.

The next evening, Gamache went into cardiac arrest at his home and was rushed by EMTs back to Cooley Dickinson, where he was pronounced dead.

An autopsy determined Gamache was killed by a blood clot caused by the bullet wound.

Both Campbell and Johnson are being held without bail while they await trial.

Campbell is due back in court on Oct. 19 for a pretrial hearing. Johnson's next court appearance is set for Oct. 12.

Both men face a mandatory life sentence in state prison with the chance of parole after between 15 and 25 years if convicted on the second-degree murder charges.

Contact Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249.


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