UPDATE: DA in Adam Lee Hall murder trial says victims were tortured
SPRINGFIELD -- Tortured. Stabbed. Shot. That's what Berkshire District Attorney David F. Capeless on Monday said happened to three city men in August 2011. And he said he can prove Adam Lee Hall did it with the help of two others.
"We will prove beyond a reasonable doubt each and every one of the charges," Capeless told the jury during opening arguments in Hall's murder trial in Hampden Superior Court.
The DA described in detail the various wounds the bodies of David Glasser, Edward Frampton and Robert Chadwell sustained. He also described how Hall allegedly made Glasser watch his two friends suffer before killing him.
"I told you what would happen if you witnessed against me," Hall allegedly told Glasser, who was expected to testify against Hall in an upcoming case at the time of the slayings.
According to the DA, Hall later bragged to others about what he had done, laughing about Glasser pleading for his life, describing how it had been difficult to dismember Frampton's body and telling of picking up Glasser's severed head and commenting that he was "ugly."
Hall's attorney, Alan J. Black, said his client was not guilty of the charges.
"There's no physical evidence linking Mr. Hall to any of these crimes," he said.
Black said there was no DNA or fingerprint evidence connecting his client in any of the incidents -- not the 2009 alleged beating of Glasser with a baseball bat, the faked armed robbery police say was set up by Hall in 2010 or the alleged kidnapping and murders in 2011.
The attorney told the jury that many of the witnesses were themselves facing charges related to Hall or unrelated crimes and said they were testifying in the hopes of reduced sentences.
Black told the jury that at the end of trial "you will find Mr. Hall not guilty of all the charges against him."
On Monday, several witnesses described Frampton, Chadwell and Glasser's final days leading up to their disappearance and killings in the early morning hours of Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011.
Leslie Chadwell, the brother of Robert Chadwell, said he spent the Friday evening before his brother's disappearance, hanging out and drinking a few beers with him. He said he was unable to reach him by phone on Sunday. He would file a missing persons report in the case.
Willie Haywood Jr., who described himself as Robert Chadwell's lover, said he last spoke with Chadwell about 11:20 p.m., just hours before his disappearance.
"He told me he loved me, he missed me and he'd see me soon," recalled Haywood, who was in New York state at the time of the disappearances.
Andrew Johnston, a friend of both Robert Chadwell -- whom everyone called "Robert T" -- and David Glasser, said that just before his disappearance Glasser told him he was worried about testifying at an upcoming trial.
"He wanted to hide out for a few days and wasn't going to answer his phone," Johnston said.
Erin Forbush, who was Edward Frampton's caseworker at ServiceNet, which provides a variety of services to people with developmental disabilities and others, also took the stand Monday.
Forbush said Frampton called her nearly every day and that she had been expecting a call from him that Monday.
"I had nothing on my voicemail from Ed, which was very odd," she told the jury.
Forbush went to his house, knocked on the door and then went around back. She said the television was on and Glasser's truck was in the driveway. She left and later returned with her co-worker, Heather Ethier, and discovered the back door was open. Inside, they found no one there. The last day marked off on a calendar that Frampton always used was Aug. 27, she said.
"Things were out of place," said Ethier. The dishes hadn't been cleaned, Frampton's wallet was still there as was his medications and a cushion had been knocked off the couch and left on the floor, she recalled.
Forbush said she also filed a missing persons report that Wednesday.
Investigator Jason Breault, a former Pittsfield police officer who is now with the Berkshire County Sheriff's Office, testified to finding the victims' cell phones at Glasser's home after the men's disappearance.
Under cross-examination by Black, Breault said he could not say there was evidence of a struggle. He said he did not secure the scene himself.
Lisa Archambault, Glasser and Frampton's neighbor, said she heard loud banging on Glasser's front door sometime after midnight on Aug. 28, 2011. She didn't hear anything else that early morning. The next day she banged on the door several times to get Glasser to move his truck but couldn't get anyone to come to the door.
Under cross-examination Archambault said she heard an argument between Frampton and two men. She said she "knew" it was about money and assumed "it was about crack."
The trial continues on Tuesday.
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