Prosecutors relent, release teen robbery suspect, with conditions

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PITTSFIELD — One week after prosecutors argued that there were no conditions of release that could ensure the safety of the public from Taylor Bartlett, they agreed to release the city man on his own recognizance.

On Wednesday, Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Dillian Hecht also walked back his earlier assertion that the state would be seeking to submit Bartlett's case to a grand jury for indictment and transfer into Berkshire Superior Court.

Bartlett, 18, has entered a not guilty plea to a count of armed and masked robbery with a firearm in an Oct. 23 incident at the Onota Lake boat ramp.

He was ordered held without the right to bail after a dangerousness hearing before Judge Mark Pasquariello in Central Berkshire District Court on Feb. 5.

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Hecht argued for the detention, noting the seriousness of the charge.

Bartlett's attorney, Joshua Hochberg, called the state's case against his client weak and noted that detaining Bartlett appeared to contradict the Berkshire District Attorney's Office's stated position on how to deal with youthful offenders.

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At Wednesday's hearing to appeal the district court decision, Hecht said that, after further review of the case, the state agreed to release Bartlett on personal recognizance, with conditions. Those include submitting to GPS monitoring, residing with family and observing a curfew.

Hecht said it also now appeared more likely that Bartlett's case would remain at the district court level.

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Bartlett is accused of robbing a group of four people at gunpoint in a parked car Oct. 23. Police believe Bartlett suspected that at least one of his victims previously had stolen marijuana from him.

The firearm was not recovered.

Hochberg has pointed out contradictory information provided by witnesses regarding Bartlett's whereabouts during the robbery. He also suggested that the one witness who put Bartlett at the scene during an interview with police about three months after the robbery might have had their own motivations for providing that information.

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


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