Pittsfield man held as dangerous in daylight shootout last month
PITTSFIELD — The suspect in a daylight shooting last month has been ordered held as dangerous while awaiting a jury trial.
Dane Kessler, 27, of Pittsfield, is accused of shooting a gun he wasn't licensed to carry at a car on Francis Avenue just after noon on June 12 in Pittsfield.
Witnesses told police that Kessler shot at a silver Nissan Altima. Another witness told police Kessler had passed them a gun, saying he had been shot at, and that he had returned fire.
Kessler was later pulled over and arrested by Pittsfield Police, at which point he told officers he had four gunshot wounds in his leg. He was transported to Berkshire Medical Center.
A Nissan Altima matching the description of the one Kessler allegedly shot at was later found in North Adams with a bullet hole in it, along with evidence that the car had been intentionally set on fire.
Assistant District Attorney Allison Pash said that the seriousness of Kessler's alleged actions — on a public street in the middle of the day — justified his detention without bail. She also pointed to Kessler's criminal record in his native Florida to argue that he poses a danger to the public.
Kessler's attorney, Joseph Zlatnik, countered that the defendant has never missed a court date, and is still suffering from the injuries he sustained in the shootout. Zlatnik proposed to the court that Kessler's whereabouts be monitored with a GPS device until his trial so he could receive proper medical care.
Zlatnik also drew attention to conflicting testimony from witnesses, including those who stated that the shooter was Black or Latino; Kessler is white.
Judge Jennifer Tyne backed the motion to hold Kessler without bail for up to 120 days.
Pash said she expected the case to move to Superior Court. A check-in date is scheduled for Aug. 4.
Jack Lyons can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JackLyonsND.
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