Wednesday September 12, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- One of the men allegedly involved in an armed robbery in a motel on Monday morning told police he didn’t rob the victim of any money, denied he had a gun, but said he did plan to steal the man’s heroin.

Both Jerrod L. Kendig and his co-defendant and cousin, Michael G. Dion, are being held in jail following their arraignments on Tuesday in Central Berkshire District Court.

Kendig, 32, of Deming Street, and Dion, 28, of Springside Avenue, each pleaded not guilty to single counts of armed robbery and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

According to a Pittsfield Police report, Kendig allegedly pulled what turned out to be a BB gun on Anthony Shepard when Shepard answered the door of his room at about 11 a.m. on Monday at the Quality Inn on Cheshire Road.

"Give me everything you’ve got or you’re going to die," Kendig allegedly told Shepard. In an ensuing struggle for the weapon, Shepard was struck above the eye with the gun and suffered a minor injury.

According to the report, Kendig told Shepard that Dion would be coming into the room to stab Shepard and called Dion’s name several times during the struggle.

Kendig allegedly pulled $580 out of Shepard’s pocket and left the motel.

Police say that Dion had been texting Shepard that morning in an attempt to lure him from the room. Shepard told police Dion had been threatening him via texts for several months, charges denied by Dion’s attorney.

The Berkshire District Attorney’s Office, in requesting $20,000 cash bail for each man, cited Kendig’s "seven-page record" and Dion’s prior convictions, including a four- to five-year prison sentence for a 2006 armed assault.

Kendig’s attorney, Thomas C. Doyle, said his client was a life-long resident of the county and a family man who took care of his two children. Doyle said Shepard was an unreliable witness and pointed out that no money was recovered by police.

A BB pistol made to look like a real gun was found by police in Kendig’s basement, according to a report.

Attorney Jill Sheldon, representing Dion, said that her client knew nothing of Kendig’s plans that morning, wasn’t involved in the crime, and had been receiving text messages and phone calls from the alleged victim prior to the incident.

Judge Mark D. Mason ordered Kendig held on $20,000 cash or $200,000 bond. Dion was given bail of $15,000 cash or $150,000 bond.

Mason also revoked Dion’s bail on another unrelated case. Dion can be held without bail for up to 60 days.

In that case from March, police allege that Dion attacked a 27-year-old woman, held a knife to her throat, threatened to kill her and trashed an apartment. That case remains pending.

Both defendants are scheduled to be back in court next month, but it is likely their cases will be transferred to Superior Court.