Suspects in Mass. slayings plead not guilty
PITTSFIELD, Mass. – A ranking Hells Angels member in western Massachusetts and two acquaintances charged in a triple murder killed one of the victims to prevent him from testifying in a kidnapping and assault trial and killed the other two men to eliminate witnesses, according to a police report released Monday.
The probable cause report by Massachusetts State Police describes how Adam Lee Hall, 34, the reputed sergeant at arms of the Berkshire County chapter of the Hells Angels, allegedly was involved in a dispute over an automobile part in 2009 that escalated into a series of criminal acts that ended with the killings of the three men. Their bodies were found buried in an undisclosed location in the county Saturday.
Hall and his two associates, David Chalue, 44, and Caius Veiovis, 31, entered not guilty pleas to murder, kidnapping and other charges and were ordered held without bail during their arraignments in District Court in Pittsfield on Monday. They're set to return to court Oct. 12.
They're charged in the abductions and killings of three Pittsfield men, 44-year-old David Glasser, 58-year-old Edward Frampton and 47-year-old Robert Chadwell, who disappeared around Aug. 28. Authorities said the men died "by violence" and the exact causes of death will be determined by autopsies.
Glasser was supposed to testify in a Pittsfield courtroom next week about how Hall allegedly beat him with a baseball bat in July 2009, stole property from him and threatened to have him killed if he told police. Police said Hall apparently assaulted Glasser because he believed Glasser stole a carburetor from him. Hall later tried to frame Glasser for crimes he didn't commit in an attempt to discredit him as a witness, police said.
"Hall has ... repeatedly demonstrated in the past his propensity for resorting to extortion, intimidation, false charges and the planting of evidence and/or violence in order to avoid prosecution for his crimes," Lt. David Foley wrote in the probable cause report.
The report also alleges that Hall, in an attempt to avoid prison in the case involving Glasser, met with the FBI in September 2010 and offered to help federal agents "take down" many East Coast chapters of the Hells Angels by wearing a wire and providing information on drug dealing, firearms selling and other crimes he said the gang was involved in.
"The FBI ... declined to work with him in that capacity fearing that he was uncontrollable and much too dangerous," the report says.
Witnesses told state police that before the three victims went missing, Hall was talking about how Glasser had to "disappear" before the trial, and that after the abductions Hall said something about "when the three men were taken," the report says.
State police also said witnesses saw a man fitting Hall's description tossing shoes, clothing and other items off a bridge in nearby Lenox just minutes after authorities entered Glasser's apartment looking for the missing men. One of those witnesses later identified Hall from a photo array, police said.
Police also said tests on the inside of Veiovis' vehicle came up positive for the presence of blood, although whose blood isn't clear.
Hall's attorney, William Rota, said his client will fight the charges against him.
"He has indicated to me that he's innocent, and we'll go from there," Rota said after Monday's arraignment.
Lawyers for Chalue and Veiovis, who is also known as Roy Gutfinski, declined to comment on the allegations.
The killings stunned many in Pittsfield, a town of about 41,000 people in the state's northwestern corner.
"You're used to seeing stuff like that in big cities, not here," said local resident Tasha Persip, who said she was Chadwell's cousin.
Persip said outside the courthouse that she thought the killings were despicable, especially those of her cousin and Frampton.
"Innocent people got killed who had nothing to do with it," she said. "I hope they (the defendants) rot in hell."
Many questions remain unanswered. District Attorney David Capeless declined to say where exactly the bodies were found, how the three men died and how Hall, Chalue and Veiovis knew each other. Authorities have said they don't believe Chalue and Veiovis were members of the Hells Angels.