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News Briefs: GBPD safe exchange zone; motor vehicle homicide arraignment

The GBPD suggests that exchanges occur during the day; however, its parking area is well-lit and under 24/7 video surveillance.

GBPD offering online sales safe exchange zone

Great Barrington — The Great Barrington Police Department has announced that both its parking lot and front lobby are available to be used as safe exchange zones for buyers and sellers who utilize websites such as Craigslist or the Facebook Marketplace. The GBPD suggests that exchanges occur during the day; however, its parking area is well-lit and under 24/7 video surveillance. While the locations are available for the public to use to complete exchanges, officers may not participate or act as official witnesses in transactions. Further, police personnel are unable to give legal advice or settle disputes between parties involved in these transactions. For more information, contact the Great Barrington Police Department at (413) 528-0306 or check in with the desk officer 24/7.

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Southfield man arraigned on charge of motor vehicle homicide

Pittsfield — A Southfield man accused of causing the death of a motorcyclist on Canaan Road in Sheffield was arraigned Tuesday on the charge of motor vehicle homicide while under the influence of alcohol and operating negligently.

Kristopher H. Laine, 39, was charged in Berkshire County Superior Court for operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and causing a motor vehicle collision that claimed the life of John Howard, 70, of Bethlehem, Connecticut. On Tuesday, Superior Court Judge Karen Goodwin set a pre-trial hearing in the case for Jan. 15, 2020.

The Berkshire District Attorney obtained an indictment from a Berkshire County grand jury on July 2 charging Laine in the fatal motor vehicle collision. According to a police investigation, a pick-up truck operated by Laine on May 22 traveled into the opposite westbound lane of Canaan Road and struck a motorcycle driven by Howard, who died at the scene from injuries sustained in the crash.

“We send our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Howard as we continue to seek justice on his behalf,” Berkshire District Attorney Andrea Harrington said. “The District Attorney’s Office deeply appreciates the extensive efforts that were made by law enforcement and first responders back in May.”

Responding to the fatal crash were Harrington, Massachusetts State Police detectives assigned to the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office, Sheffield Police Department, Sheffield Fire Department, New Marlborough Police Department, State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section, State Police Crime Scene Services Section, state police from Lee, Connecticut State Police, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and the Southern Berkshire Volunteer Ambulance Squad Inc.

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