Suspect in home invasion, attempted armed robbery arraigned

Thursday November 8, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- A 22-year-old ex-convict, accused of breaking into a home and pistol-whipping one of the occupants, remains in jail without bail following his arraignment on Tuesday in Berkshire Superior Court.

Ansel "Yamean" Sparrow of Pittsfield, represented by attorney Colin Keefe, pleaded not guilty to five charges including single counts of armed home invasion, armed assault with the intent to rob and conspiracy to commit armed robbery while masked, and two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

Sparrow denies the charges. His girlfriend has said that the defendant was with her during the time the crimes were supposed to have taken place.

On Tuesday, Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Marianne Shelvey asked the court for a dangerousness hearing, which would allow for the defendant to be held for up to 90 days without bail.

The prosecutor's move was similar to one she made in Central District Court at the defendant's original arraignment in October before his case was indicted by a grand jury.

Superior Court Judge John A. Agostini ordered Sparrow to jail without bail pending a hearing scheduled for Nov. 14.

According to police and prosecutors, Sparrow and a codefendant, 18-year-old Steven T. Lesley of Pittsfield, broke into a West Housatonic Street apartment at about 2 a.m. on Oct. 2 and pistol-whipped a 25-year-old man and struck a 21-year-old woman in the head.

The man suffered lacerations to the face, while his girlfriend had scrapes and bruises, according to police.

The defendants were allege dly looking for money.

According to Shelvey, Spar row is a "validated Bloods gang member" who served three years for a house break-in which a gun was stolen.

Lesley was arraigned on Oct. 24 in Superior Court on similar charges and remains in jail in lieu of $200,000 bail.

According to a Pittsfield Police report, Lesley admitted being the driver in the crime, but said he was intimidated into the role. He denied being inside the apartment.

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