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Judge sets $10,000 bail for Pittsfield man accused of second OUI offense

PITTSFIELD — A judge Monday ordered a city man accused of second-offense drunken driving held on $10,000 bail, pointing to his history of defaulting on court dates and a four-year stint as a fugitive.

Shane H. Hall, 50, of Crane Avenue, pleaded not guilty in Central Berkshire District Court to driving erratically and under the influence of alcohol Saturday morning.

The Berkshire District Attorney’s Office recommended that Hall be released on his personal recognizance, with conditions that he refrain from driving and drinking.

Prompted by a question from Judge Paul Smyth, Assistant District Attorney R. Talmadge Reeves said the second-offense operating under the influence charge did not qualify him to be held without the right to bail before trial under the state’s dangerousness statute.

Smyth noted Hall’s record and asked prosecutors to produce more information about his criminal history.

After a break, Reeves said Hall fled the state in 1999 and was “on the run” for four years. During that time, Reeves said, Hall was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in South Carolina.

Smyth said Hall has a history of missing court, and over two decades ago had fled the state before he was expected to stand trial on charges in Berkshire County.

“What I’m worried about is him appearing in court,” Smyth said. “It looks like every case he’s had in this district, he’s defaulted.”

Hall told Smyth that he was younger then and would not miss any future court dates.

“I just had too much to drink the other night,” Hall said. “I’m definitely going to show up for court.”

Defense attorney Thomas Donohue agreed with Reeves’ recommendation, and said his client planned to check himself in to a treatment program immediately.

Smyth ordered Hall held in lieu of $10,000 cash bail, and Hall was put in handcuffs by court officers.

He had been taken into custody initially by state police about 8 a.m. Saturday, when the car he was driving on Pecks Road left the road. According to court documents, a trooper reported that Hall was slurring, his eyes were watering, and a “moderate smell” of alcohol was noticed on Hall’s breath.

According to the trooper’s report, Hall could not focus or follow instructions, and was missing a shoe. Hall was taken to the state police barracks in Cheshire, where he began vomiting before EMTs determined that he needed to go to Berkshire Medical Center for evaluation.

On the way to the hospital, Hall allegedly said he drank too much that day. Once at the hospital, Hall told a trooper he had been trying to retrieve his own car, which “slid off the road” Friday night while Hall was driving in Lake Onota Village.

Hall said he left his car on the side of the road and took a taxi home, the report states.

On Saturday morning, Hall took someone else’s vehicle without authority and tried to drive it back to Lake Onota Village to pick up his vehicle, Reeves said. That is when Hall went off the road a second time, leading to his arrest.

Hall was arraigned Monday on second-offense OUI, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, marked-lanes violation, driving without a license, speeding and using a motor vehicle without authority. He is due back in court Dec. 29.

Amanda Burke can be reached at aburke@berkshireeagle.com or 413-496-6296.

Cops and Courts Reporter

Amanda Burke is Cops and Courts Reporter for The Berkshire Eagle. An Ithaca, New York native, she previously worked at The Herald News of Fall River and the Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise.

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