Couple guilty of misleading police in Williamstown hit-and-run

John and Sally Gould, shown during their arraignment in June 2016, have been found guilty of misleading police investigating the hit-and-run crash that left a Williamstown woman in a coma. Sally Gould was acquitted of leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, and both were acquitted on charges of conspiracy.

PITTSFIELD — A Williamstown couple on trial in a hit-and-run accident that left the victim in a coma have been convicted of misleading police about the crash.
But Sally Gould, who prosecutors said struck the victim, was found not guilty of leaving the scene of a personal injury accident. And she and her husband, John Gould, were acquitted of a conspiracy charge.
A Berkshire Superior Court jury returned the verdict shortly after 4 p.m. Wednesday to end the trial, which began March 6.
The jury, made up of five men and seven women, deliberated for about eight hours, between Monday and Wednesday afternoon. Courts were closed Tuesday because of the weather.
Attorneys for the couple — David Hoose, who represented Sally Gould, and Lori Levinson, who represented John Gould, declined to comment after the verdict.
Prosecutors had alleged that Sally Gould struck Cheryl J. LeClaire, who was walking her dog near her home, on North Hoosac Road on Feb. 9, 2016.
LeClaire, then 54, was found unresponsive in the road. She suffered severe head trauma and remains comatose more than two years later.
After a neighbor tipped off authorities about Gould's damaged vehicle, the couple were questioned by police.
Prosecutors claimed that the Goulds conspired to avoid responsibility for the crash and lied to police about how and when the vehicle was damaged.
Jurors sent out two questions during their Wednesday deliberations. The first asked for some clarity of the law regarding leaving the scene of personal injury. The second question, received about 3:30 p.m., asked what they should do if they couldn't reach an agreement on one of the charges.
The charge wasn't identified in the jury's note, and Judge John Agostini asked jurors to keep deliberating in the hope they would reach a consensus.
About 4 p.m., the jury was asked if it wanted to suspend deliberations and resume in the morning. Members declined, and a few minutes later, they announced they had reached a verdict.
Sally Gould, 73, and John Gould, 71, are scheduled to be sentenced at 2 p.m. March 26 in Berkshire Superior Court.
Agostini released them on personal recognizance in the meantime.
The maximum penalty for a conviction of misleading a police officer is 10 years in prison.
Bob Dunn can be reached at bdunn@berkshireeagle.com, at @BobDunn413 on Twitter and 413-496-6249.