Kidnapping, other charges against Adams man dropped
PITTSFIELD — An Adams man who had been accused of multiple charges including kidnapping has been released after his accuser declined to cooperate with authorities.
Jonathan Therrien, 30, was sentenced Monday to 16 months of time already served while being held on bail while the case was pending.
During a plea hearing in Berkshire Superior Court, Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Megan Tesoniero said without the cooperation of that witness, the state could not prosecute most of the charges.
Therrien pleaded guilty to two counts of larceny over $250, daytime misdemeanor breaking and entering and larceny of a motor vehicle. The state dropped nearly two dozen other charges.
The larceny counts stem from the theft of the victim's cellphone on two separate occasions; once on Aug. 19 and again on Sept. 23, 2017.
Therrien had been accused of breaking into the woman's Great Barrington apartment on Aug. 17, assaulting her and taking her phone before she was able to contact police. After being arrested and charged in that incident, the man allegedly broke into her apartment Sept. 22 and choked her and held her and her child held against their will overnight.
About 9:30 a.m. the next day, Therrien took the woman and child, got them into her grandfather's vehicle and drove with them until eventually reaching Pontoosuc Lake in Pittsfield.
They left the vehicle on foot and when the woman was able to ask a passer-by for help, Therrien got back into the vehicle himself and drove off.
A warrant was issued for his arrest and he was found by police in the Hoosic River flood chute near Winter Street, where he had dropped into it following an earlier argument with his father at a restaurant, according to a police report.
Tesoniero and Therrien's attorney, Ryan Smith, agreed to the sentence of time served, which fit within the higher end of state sentencing guidelines on the charges to which he was pleading, but the state sought an additional penalty.
Tesoniero had asked Judge John Agostini to consider adding a two-year period of probation to the sentence, which would have included GPS monitoring, a mental health evaluation and other conditions. He cited similar prior criminal history by Therrien in Vermont over a period between November 2007 and May 2008, and said Therrien had exhibited a "controlling pattern of behavior."
Smith argued against that suggestion, saying the investigation raised questions about the original charges, and that Therrien had already served more time than what the sentencing guidelines call for.
Agostini agreed with Smith and noted adding probation on top of the sentence already imposed would be effectively sentencing him for charges on which he was not convicted.
The charges dropped by the state were two counts of felony nighttime breaking and entering; three counts of assault and battery on a family or household member; five counts of witness intimidation[ one count of strangulation[ two counts of kidnapping; two counts of aggravated strangulation; one count of aggravated assault and battery with a dangerous weapon; one count of assault with a dangerous weapon; one count of kidnapping a victim under 16; two counts of violation of a restraining order; and one count each of improper use of a credit card and larceny under $250.
Bob Dunn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, at @BobDunn413 on Twitter and 413-496-6249.
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