Pittsfield Shooting: Alleged gunman pleads not guilty to murder charge in fatal shooting


PITTSFIELD >> A city man remains held without bail after pleading not guilty to murder and other charges in the shooting death of a Goshen man.

Peter J. Campbell, 18, sporting orange jail-issued clothing, appeared with his attorney, Nathaniel K. Green, in a nearly empty Berkshire Superior Court on Tuesday for his arraignment on five charges in the death of Anthony Gamache last month.

In a strong, clear voice, Campbell told the court he was "not guilty" of the charge of second-degree murder. He showed little emotion during the brief hearing.

Campbell is now facing a mandatory life sentence in state prison with the chance of parole after between 15 and 25 years if convicted on the murder count.

City police say Campbell shot Gamache, 29, in the leg during a botched robbery attempt on Nov. 18 in a vehicle in the Big Y parking lot on West Street in Pittsfield.

Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Joseph Yorlano on Tuesday asked the court to continue to hold Campbell without bail at the Berkshire County Jail & House of Correction. Green agreed to the move.

Judge Daniel A. Ford ordered Campbell held without bail without prejudice, meaning Green can ask for a bail review at a future date.

After the arraignment, Green, told The Eagle he was "anxious to read through the discovery material" in the case.

"I'm still awaiting the autopsy report," he said.

Green refrained from commenting further. Earlier this month he said they would be investigating the allegations and would seek "a just resolution" in the case.

The autopsy could play a major role in the case. The initial post-mortem exam by Dr. Henry Nields, the state's chief medical examiner, was inconclusive as to the cause of death. But after more tests came back, Nields determined that Gamache's death was due to a blood clot that he said was caused by the gunshot wound to the leg.

Campbell admitted to police that he and another man went to meet Gamache and two others to purchase a quarter pound of marijuana, but had intended to rob them, according to a probable cause report.

Campbell allegedly admitted having a .380 handgun, but said the gun went off accidentally during a brief struggle inside the car. Witnesses reported Campbell shot Gamache in the leg on purpose after giving a brief warning.

The bullet went into Gamache's right leg, chipped the femur and remained lodged in his leg, said police.

After Campbell and the other man fled, Gamache was driven to Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, and then transported to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, where he was treated and released, said police.

Gamache died the next evening after going into cardiac arrest at his home. He was rushed by EMTs back to Cooley Dickinson, where he was pronounced dead.

The grand jury heard the case last week and on Thursday returned indictments on the murder charge as well four others, including armed assault to rob for allegedly threatening the 18-year-old man with a knife during the incident. He is also facing single counts of illegal possession of a handgun, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and another count of armed assault to rob.

On Tuesday, Campbell pleaded not guilty to all charges. He is due back in court on June 2 for a pretrial hearing.

Police say the gun hasn't been recovered and the second man remains at large.

The investigation into the shooting is being conducted by members of the Pittsfield Police Department and state police detectives assigned to the District Attorney's Office.

Contact Andrew Amelinckx at 413-496-6249.


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