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Chalue Sentenced To Life In Prison In Killings Of Three Pittsfield Men

Sept. 2011/Berkshire District Attorney's Office

David Chalue, the second man found guilty in the gruesome murders of three Pittsfield men in August 2011, has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Hampden Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Kinder sentenced Chalue to three consecutive life sentences without parole Monday afternoon.

A Hampden Superior Court jury convicted 47 year-old David Chalue of North Adams on all nine counts on Friday – three counts each of murder, witness intimidation and kidnapping. Andrew Amelinckx covered the trial for The Berkshire Eagle and was in the courtroom when the verdict came.

“His head was raised and his jaw was clenched,” Amelinckx explained. “He was controlled.”

The verdict appeared to be reached Thursday afternoon, but when the 12 jurors were individually polled, one woman said she had not come to that decision. Berkshire County District Attorney David Capeless says he feels relieved.

"In my 32-plus years as a prosecutor I have not experienced that before,” Capeless said. “It was really gut-wrenching for us and for the jury.”

Amelinckx says the reversal caught everyone by surprise.

“The jury was being dismissed and were filing out when Chalue’s defense attorney Don Frank asked for the jurors to be polled,” Amelinckx said. “So they were called back in. It was almost a missed opportunity.”

Chalue was one of three men charged with kidnapping and killing David Glasser, Edward Frampton and Robert Chadwell. The men disappeared from a Pittsfield home in August 2011. Their dismembered bodies were discovered two weeks later in Becket. Chalue had pleaded not guilty. Chalue’s attorney Donald Frank filed motions to keep testimonies of so-called jailhouse informants from being used as evidence. The informants alleged Chalue admitted to the killings and detailed the crimes.

“I find that term of ‘jailhouse informant’ to be a despicable one that’s manufactured by defense counsel in this,” he said. “These were witnesses who came forward who were fellow inmates who had valuable information and at a great risk to themselves they did their duty as citizens and I congratulate them for doing it.”

Ringleader Adam Lee Hall was convicted in February and is serving three consecutive life sentences. The remaining suspect, Caius Veiovis, will be tried in September. He faces the same charges as Chalue, according to Capeless.

“I’m just very pleased that we are at this point,” Capeless said.  “A great deal of credit goes to the people who have investigated this case and continue to investigate it. It’s important for people to understand that. Something like this we never stop. It will continue on through the third trial in September. I look forward to that. We’ve always been confident about the charges that were leveled against the three of them. We are going to carry through on behalf of the victims, their families and their friends.”

Capeless says the jurors are owed a great deal of appreciation for their dedication to the case. They deliberated for about 30 hours. He also points out the difficulties the victims’ families face in reliving the tragedies.

“It’s something that they do want to have over and finished, but they know how important it is to bring these cases to justice and they are sticking with us and by their loved ones that were lost throughout this,” said Capeless.

Hall and Chalue were both tried in Hampden Superior Court in Springfield because of pre-trial publicity in Berkshire County.Chalue’s attorney had asked to move the trial farther east after Hall’s conviction. As of now, the remaining trial is set to be held in Springfield.

Jim is WAMC’s Assistant News Director and hosts WAMC's flagship news programs: Midday Magazine, Northeast Report and Northeast Report Late Edition. Email: jlevulis@wamc.org
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