Motion to dismiss denied for Anthony Boone, Bruce Romano, on trial for allegedly killing William Catalano of Pittsfield
PITTSFIELD — A digital video that apparently shows the attack that killed William Catalano is inconclusive about when the fatal wounds were delivered, according to a judge who rejected a motion to dismiss charges against two of the three defendants.
In a three-page decision filed in Berkshire Superior Court last month, Judge Michael Callan ruled that there was sufficient evidence provided to a grand jury to support the indictments against Anthony Boone and Bruce Romano.
Boone, 23, and Romano, 29, are facing murder charges in connection with the fatal stabbing of Catalano, 34, on Oct. 15, 2018.
The two men are accused of participating in the attack on Catalano outside 219 Robbins Avenue. A third defendant, Jason Sefton, 21, was not part of the defense motion to dismiss the charges.
The motion claimed there was a lack of evidence showing the two defendants had a specific intent to murder under the prosecution's theory the homicide was a joint venture between the three men.
While the video shows Sefton pulling out a knife, Callan noted the "high quality" digital video shows the attack was "joined by all three defendants during which Mr. Catalano was stabbed to death."
He said the attack was not a split-second incident but a sustained incident that lasted for about 20 seconds.
A knife was plainly visible to Boone and Romano while it was being used to stab Catalano, he said.
"Mr. Boone and Mr. Romano joined in the murder after the knife was pulled," Callan wrote.
The defendants argued the video shows Catalano was stabbed twice before Boone and Romano joined in the alleged attack.
"That is entirely unclear," Callan said. "It may or may not be so."
In the video, Callan said, after Romano and Boone join in, there is a scuffle behind a chair on the porch, which is obscured by a blue pillow.
"It is a fair inference that one or more of the fatal wounds occurred then, with Boone and Romano restraining or hindering Mr. Catalano from defending himself or escaping," Callan said.
Callan went on to note that after watching the video, the grand jury could have reasonably concluded that the two defendants assisted in beating and rendering Catalano helpless while the fatal blow was delivered.
When Sefton pulled out the knife, Callan noted, there was also an apparent lack of surprise or shock by Boone and Romano, which he said strongly suggested they had knowledge of what was going to happen.
Callan also found there was no misconduct by prosecutors, "by any stretch of the imagination," in their presentation of the case to the grand jury.
"In light of the video," Callan said. "there was nothing that even remotely rises to the level of a miscarriage of justice."
In July, Sefton's attorney, Jeremy Powers, unsuccessfully sought to have a $25,000 cash bail with conditions including GPS monitoring set.
Boone and Romano are represented by attorneys Paul Rudof and Jennifer Cox, respectively.
All three defendants have pleaded not guilty and remain held without the right to bail. If convicted of first-degree murder, the defendants face life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Bob Dunn can be reached at email@example.com, at @BobDunn413 on Twitter and 413-496-6249.
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