Judge denies murder defendant's request for bail

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PITTSFIELD — A judge this week denied a motion from a murder defendant to have $25,000 cash bail set in his case, instead of continuing to be held without the right to bail.

Jason Sefton, 20, along with co-defendants Bruce Romano and Anthony Boone, are charged in the Oct. 15, 2018, killing of William Catalano.

At a Monday bail hearing in Berkshire Superior Court before Judge John Agostini, First Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Karen Bell identified Sefton as the man who stabbed Catalano twice in the torso, before Romano and Boone jumped in and began punching and kicking him.

Bell said surveillance video supports that theory and identifies the people allegedly involved.

Bell also noted that Sefton has two open district court cases, including one that involves an allegation of an assault and battery with a knife.

Bell called the state's case against Sefton "extremely strong," based in part on the video evidence.

Sefton's attorney, Jeremy Powers, asked Agostini to set a bail of $25,000 with a GPS monitoring requirement and noted that Sefton turned himself in last October.

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Powers said he wasn't sure that the state's case was as "rock solid" as implied.

Powers said his client wasn't a flight risk and intends to fight the charges in court. Powers alluded to a strong defense against those charges.

At the hearing, Agostini noted that when Sefton turned himself in, he likely was not aware that the video of the stabbing existed.

After reviewing the footage, Agostini wrote in his decision: "Given the video evidence, the case is strong and the indictment for murder is the most serious charge a criminal defendant can face. Accordingly, I am going to continue to hold [Sefton] without the right to bail."

Meanwhile, a motion to dismiss charges against Boone and Romano is scheduled for Sept. 26.

If convicted of first-degree murder, each defendant faces life in prison without parole.

Bob Dunn can be reached at bdunn@berkshireeagle.com, at @BobDunn413 on Twitter and 413-496-6249.


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