Man held as dangerous on assault, threat charges tied to Adams stabbing

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PITTSFIELD — A Springfield man accused of assaulting and threatening witnesses to an August stabbing in Adams has been ordered held without bail.

Yuri Rankin, 35, is accused of moving into the house where Anthony Chambers lived after Chambers was arrested in the stabbing.He was ordered held after a dangerousness hearing Wednesday in Berkshire Superior Court.

The charges stem from an Aug. 26 incident on Winter Street in which a white male was stabbed in the back and treated at Berkshire Medical Center. Witnesses said the man was stabbed during an argument and two suspects fled the scene on foot.

Chambers, 34, was arrested later that night, based on witness information, on charges including armed assault with intent to murder, extortion, kidnapping and assault and battery. He remains held without bail.

A few days after the stabbing, police were contacted by witnesses who claimed Rankin had moved into the house after Chambers' arrest, and that he began assaulting and threatening the women who lived there, warning them against speaking to the police, according to information aired in court by Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Heather Valentine.

In one instance, Rankin allegedly grabbed one woman by the throat hard enough to obstruct her breathing, put her up against a wall and showed her a handgun.

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He allegedly told one witness that "people could get buried" if police were spoken to.

Rankin's attorney, Tracy Duncan, argued against keeping her client detained, raising questions about the credibility of witness accounts and noting that, if released, he would be residing in Springfield with family. Duncan said Rankin would also be willing to submit to GPS monitoring.

Valentine noted Rankin's prior record in her argument for detention, which dates back to at least 2003 and includes convictions for charges including armed assault with intent to murder as well as narcotics and firearms charges.

She asked Judge John Agostini to consider a cash bail of $50,000, if he were not inclined to hold Rankin as dangerous. Duncan suggested a bail of $2,500.

On Thursday, Agostini ordered Rankin held as dangerous for 120 days without the right to bail.Rankin has pleaded not guilty to charges including strangulation, witness intimidation and assault with a dangerous weapon.

His case could go to trial as early as January.

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


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