Stabbing, armed robbery suspect released on bail


PITTSFIELD -- One of two Connecticut men allegedly involved in a South County stabbing and armed robbery is free on $5,000 bail following his arraignment on Monday in Berkshire Superior Court.

Kijuame Taft, 32, of Waterbury, pleaded not guilty to single counts of felony armed robbery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and witness intimidation before Judge Daniel A. Ford.

According to police and prosecutors, Taft and Deon "Ace" Allen, 21, also of Waterbury, stabbed Aaron Strampach during a Sept. 15 early morning altercation on Depot Street in Great Barrington.

The pair allegedly was trying to collect money from Strampach following a drug deal in Housatonic.

Strampach, a 25-year-old Sheffield man, suffered two stab wounds to the arm and one in the abdomen. He was treated at the hospital and released the next day.

The defendants were arrested in Connecticut in November and were returned to Massachusetts to face charges.

Taft remains free on $5,000 bail. Ford ordered that he not have any contact with the alleged victim or witnesses.

Taft is being represented by attorney David Pixley.

Allen was arraigned earlier this month and is being held on $2,500 bail.

A pretrial hearing was scheduled for Feb. 21.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Richard M. Locke and was investigated by members of the Great Barrington Police Department.


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