Suspect held based on 'pattern of violence'

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PITTSFIELD — A city man who was found hiding in a bedroom closet with drugs and a loaded handgun nearby was determined to be dangerous on Friday and ordered held without bail.

Jerrel Hall, 24, has demonstrated an "escalating pattern of violence" since 2010, Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Veronica LeClair told the judge in arguing for detention.

Police were canvassing the Circular Avenue area on Monday for witnesses and evidence in a gunfire incident the night before when they spotted — and subsequently arrested — Hall and a juvenile on unrelated warrants. They were found hiding in a nearby home with 228 bags of heroin and a loaded .22 caliber revolver.

Hall's attorney, Jennifer Tyne, pointed out that Hall was not in physical possession of a handgun when he was arrested, though there was one in the room, and the caliber of the recovered weapon was different than the caliber of shell casings recovered during the investigation of Sunday's incident.

She also objected to LeClair's characterization of Hall as someone who demonstrated a "willingness to use firearms."

Hall has not been charged with firing into the Circular Avenue home.

Tyne suggested a bail of $5,000 would be sufficient to ensure Hall's continued appearances in court.

LeClair said based on Hall's prior criminal record, which included charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery and drug and weapons possession, he poses a "severe danger" to the community if he were to be released.

Judge Matthew Shea agreed with the prosecution and ordered Hall held without bail as dangerous, though he has the right to appeal that decision to the Superior Court.

Tyne said she expected the case to be submitted to a grand jury for consideration to be moved into Superior Court.

Hall has pleaded not guilty to charges of possession of a Class A drug with intent to distribute subsequent offense), carrying a firearm without a permit (subsequent offense), possession of ammunition without a firearms identification card, possession of a firearm with a prior violent or drug crime conviction, possession of a firearm used in a felony with a defaced serial number and improper storage of a firearm.

Hall is due back in court on June 27 for a pretrial hearing.

Contact Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249.


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