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Judge sets $10,000 bail for man accused of second OUI offense

PITTSFIELD — A judge on Monday ordered a local man accused of second-offense drunk driving held on $10,000 bail, pointing to his history of defaulting on court dates and a four-year stint as a fugitive.

Shane H. Hall, 50, of Crane Avenue in Pittsfield, pleaded not guilty in Central Berkshire District Court to driving erratically and under the influence of alcohol on Saturday morning. 

The Berkshire District Attorney’s Office recommended Hall be released on his own personal recognizance with conditions that he refrain from driving and drinking.

Prompted by a question from Judge Paul Smyth, Assistant District Attorney R. Talmadge Reeves said the second-offense operating under the influence charge did not qualify him to be held without the right to bail before trial under the state’s dangerousness statute.  

Smyth noted Hall’s record, and asked prosecutors to produce more information about his criminal history.

After a break, Reeves said Hall fled the state in 1999 and was “on the run” for four years. During that time, the ADA said Hall was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in South Carolina.

Smyth said Hall has a history of missing court, and over two decades ago had fled the state before he was expected to stand trial on charges in Berkshire County.    

“What I’m worried about is him appearing in court,” said Smyth. “It looks like every case he’s had in this district he’s defaulted.” 

Hall told Smyth that he was younger then, and would not miss any future court dates.

“I just had too much to drink the other night,” Hall said. “I’m definitely going to show up for court.”

Defense attorney Thomas Donohue agreed with ADA Reeve’s recommendation, and said his client planned to check himself into a treatment program immediately.  

Smyth ordered Hall held in lieu of $10,000 cash bail, and Hall was put in handcuffs by court officers. 

He had been taken into custody initially by state police about 8 a.m. Saturday, when the car he was driving on Pecks Road left the road. According to court documents, a trooper reported that Hall was slurring, his eyes were watering, and noticed a “moderate smell” of alcohol on Hall’s breath.       

According to the trooper’s report, Hall could not focus or follow instructions, and was missing a shoe. Hall was taken to the state police barracks in Cheshire, where began vomiting before EMTs determined he needed to go to Berkshire Medical Center for evaluation. 

On the way to the hospital, Hall allegedly said he drank too much that day. Once at the hospital, Hall told a trooper he had been trying to retrieve his own car, which “slid off the road” Friday night while Hall was driving in Lake Onota Village. 

Hall said he left his car on the side of the road and took a taxi home, the report states.

Then on Saturday morning, Hall took someone else’s vehicle without authority and attempted to drive it back to Lake Onota Village to pick up his vehicle, Reeves said. That’s when Hall went off the road a second time, leading to his arrest. 

Hall was arraigned Monday on second offense OUI, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, marked lanes violation, driving without a license, speeding and using a motor vehicle without authority. He is due back in court on Dec. 29.  

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State prison inmate, held on operating under the influence conviction, dies from COVID-related complications

Another Connecticut prison inmate has died from complications of COVID-19, officials said Wednesday.

The 62-year-old male inmate had been receiving treatment at an outside hospital since Oct. 29 and died on Tuesday, according to the Department of Correction. The inmate was previously incarcerated at the MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution.

The inmate, whose name was not released, “suffered from several underlying comorbidities,” department officials said.

Twenty-one Connecticut prison inmates have died from COVID-related complications as of Nov. 19, according to Department of Correction data. As of Nov. 23, 104 incarcerated people are symptomatic with the virus.

Just over 5,000 state prison inmates have received at least one dose of a vaccine, according to the department. There are 9,391 people currently incarcerated in state prison as of October, according to the most recent department data.

According to department officials, the inmate entered the correctional system on Sept. 15 on a sentence related to operating a motor vehicle while under the influence. He was expected to be released on or before Jan. 12, 2022.

The inmate’s vaccination status was not immediately known.

In a statement Wednesday, Department of Correction Commissioner Angel Quiros offered his condolences to the inmate’s family.

“This is a sobering reminder that Covid-19 cannot be taken for granted,” Quiros said. “Our agency will not let its collective guard down — we will continue to fight against the spread of this dreaded virus. My condolences go out to his family.”

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Dirt bike operator killed in crash


A Napoleonville man died Saturday evening while riding his dirt bike, Troopers say.

Ray Gilton, 35, died in the Highway 1 crash, State Police said.ADVERTISING

The preliminary investigation revealed Gilton, who was operating a KTM dirt bike, was traveling south on the southbound shoulder of LA Hwy 1 at a high rate of speed. At the same time, a 2001 Chevrolet Silverado was traveling north on LA Hwy 1 and began to turn left onto Mathew Street. Gilton failed to come to a stop, struck the side of the Chevrolet, and was ejected.

Gilton was not wearing a DOT approved helmet and suffered fatal injuries. He was pronounced dead at the scene by the Assumption Parish Coroner’s Office. The driver of the Chevrolet was properly restrained and suffered minor injuries.

A toxicology sample was collected from Gilton and submitted for analysis. The driver of the Chevrolet provided a voluntary breath sample that showed no alcohol detected. This crash remains under investigation.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, motorcyclists are 29 times more likely than vehicle occupants to die in a crash. Making good choices while riding a motorcycle, such as never driving while impaired, obeying all traffic laws, and wearing a DOT approved helmet can often mean the difference between life and death.

Troop C has investigated 37 fatal crashes resulting in 47 deaths in 2021.

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Crusier struck while at crash involving deer; officials say alcohol was factor


Photo by: Ashland County PicturesA cruiser was struck by a vehicle while on scene of an accident involving another vehicle and a deer.

The driver of the truck was not injured. The trooper was transported to a local hospital and released with minor injuries.

OSHP officials said alcohol was a factor in the crash, and the driver of the truck was arrested for operating a vehicle impaired and charged with assured clear distance ahead. The driver’s blood alcohol content was over three times greater than the legal limit.

The crash remains under investigation.

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Former County assistant prosecutor accused of showing up drunk

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SHIAWASSEE COUNTY, Mich. (WJRT) – A former employee of the Shiawassee County Prosecutor’s Office is facing three charges after allegedly showing up to court late while intoxicated.

Charges were announced Tuesday against Christopher Brown for the incident that happened in early August.

The Michigan Attorney General’s Office says Brown, who worked as an assistant prosecutor, showed up to the office two hours late for a closing argument in court. He allegedly admitted to being drunk and blew a 0.113 on a breathalyzer.

That is nearly one and a half times the legal limit of 0.08 to drive in Michigan.

Brown is accused of carrying two loaded firearms in his vehicle when he drove to the office.

He is charged with one count of operating under the influence of alcohol and two counts of firearm possession by a person under the influence. All three charges are misdemeanors punishable by up to 93 days in jail if he is convicted.

“Those who swear to uphold the law must also adhere to its principles,” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said. “My office stands ready to hold accountable anyone who fails to abide by their oath.”