|Adam Lee Hall, allegedly a leader of the local Hells Angels chapter, was arraigned yesterday in Berkshire District Court in Pittsfield along with two other men, not pictured. (The Berkshire Eagle Pool via Associated Press)|
With killings, witness silenced
Prosecutors say 3 Pittsfield men slain over testimony against Hells Angel
On the night Tropical Storm Irene swept through the western part of the state two weeks ago, three Pittsfield men mysteriously went missing. Prosecutors said yesterday that they now know what happened.
They say the men were killed by a member of the Hells Angels and two accomplices, including one with 666 tattooed across his forehead, and their bodies dumped in what authorities described only as an undisclosed burial site.
At the men’s arraignment yesterday in Central Berkshire District Court in Pittsfield, prosecutors said one of the victims was set to testify against the Hells Angel at an upcoming assault trial.
The three defendants - Adam Lee Hall, 34, and allegedly a leader of the local Hells Angels chapter; David Chalue, 44; and Caius Veiovis, 31 - pleaded not guilty and were ordered held without bail. They were charged with three counts of murder, kidnapping, and intimidating a witness.
Chalue and Veiovis are not believed to belong to the Hells Angels. Veiovis was formerly known as Roy Gutfinski, police said.
The bodies of the three victims, who disappeared late last month, were recovered Saturday in Berkshire County. Police arrested and charged the suspects the next day.
One of the slain men, David Glasser, 44, was scheduled to testify against Hall in a trial on charges of luring Glasser to his home and beating him with a baseball bat, prosecutors said. Authorities said the men killed Glasser to silence him and killed the other two men because they were with him.
Berkshire District Attorney David Capeless said the arrests were the culmination of an aggressive, collaborative effort by law enforcement.
“This is the end of the search for David Glasser, Edward Frampton, and Robert Chadwell, but it is also the beginning of our efforts to bring to justice those who are responsible for their deaths, for their families, their friends, and for an entire community of law-abiding citizens,’’ Capeless said.
Frampton was 58; Chadwell was 47. Authorities would not say how they were killed. The bodies were sent to the medical examiner’s office in Boston for autopsies.
The three friends disappeared from Glasser and Frampton’s apartment, where Chadwell was visiting.
The upcoming trial stemmed from allegations that in 2009, Hall asked Glasser to do odd jobs at his house, but then accused him of stealing carburetors and attacked him, according to police. Hall allegedly threatened to kill Glasser unless he signed over the title to his truck, The Berkshire Eagle reported.
Hall then warned the victim that he would “put two bullets in his head’’ if he went to the police, the newspaper reported.
William A. Rota, a Pittsfield lawyer appointed by the court to represent Hall, said his client “stands by his innocence.’’ He said prosecutors had so far provided him little evidence that ties Hall to the slayings.
Rota said Hall has a series of other pending cases and was recently arrested on charges of sexting with an underage teenage girl. Rota said he believed police responded to the allegation aggressively because they already considered Hall a suspect in the men’s disappearance, and he was out on bail from earlier charges.
“It might not have gotten such a robust response, shall we say,’’ he said.
James G. Reardon Jr., the court-appointed attorney for Veiovis, said he had received little information about the slayings or his client’s alleged participation.
Leonard H. Cohen, appointed to represent Chalue, also said he had not yet received discovery from prosecutors.
The investigation is ongoing, and police have obtained search warrants for five locations and two vehicles.
“We will be carefully processing each of these places for evidence of these crimes,’’ Capeless said.
According to court records, Hall met with FBI agents last year and said he would be willing to provide information and wear a wire to implicate other Hells Angels in crimes, including drug and firearms trafficking, in exchange for a lighter sentence.
The FBI declined, saying he was “much too dangerous,’’ the court records stated.