PITTSFIELD — The mother of the victim of an unsolved homicide had to be removed from Berkshire Superior Court last week at the sentencing of a woman who lied to police in connection with the incident.
The outburst came during the sentencing of Tamara Morgan, who admitted to giving investigators a false alibi for an early suspect in the case.
From the court gallery, Theresa Wilson-Hinch identified herself as the mother of Joseph Brown, 38, who was found shot dead on Columbus Avenue in the early morning hours of July 17, 2016.
"She knows!" she yelled as court officers removed the woman from the courtroom after the sentencing.
Supporters of the woman's yelled back that she knows nothing about Brown's death.
According to prosecutors, a suspect, who was not named in court, was identified in the early stages of the investigation and surveillance video showed that suspect and Morgan together.
Morgan, 34, of Pittsfield, was contacted by police in early August and gave a false alibi for the suspect. Further investigation contradicted that information, including text messages that showed the suspect was not with Morgan when she said he was.
A check of Morgan's phone records also showed evidence she was trying to sell 100mg of morphine. During a search of her home, police found four 25 mg morphine pills in a plastic bag.
Morgan pleaded guilty to one count each of misleading a police officer and possession of a Class B drug with intent to distribute.
Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Joseph Yorlano asked Judge Michael Callan to consider a sentence of two to three years in state prison, considering the homicide case is still open and that Morgan admitted to providing a false alibi for a suspect in a homicide.
Morgan's attorney, Daniel Kelly, asked Callan to consider sentencing Morgan to probation, citing the progress she's made in the intervening time since she was first arraigned in November 2016, including furthering her education.
Kelly called Morgan's choice to give bad information to police a "grave error in judgment," but noted that information apparently had little to no effect on the investigation itself.
Callan rejected Kelly's suggestion of probation, noting the crimes deserved some form of incarceration, and sentenced Morgan to six months in jail.
After she completes her jail sentence, Morgan will be on probation for two years. She was given credit for four days already served in custody.
Bob Dunn can be reached at email@example.com, at @BobDunn413 on Twitter and 413-496-6249.