Man pleads guilty to bringing gun onto UMass campus

Monday, March 20, 2017

NORTHAMPTON — A Berkshire County man admitted in court Monday to brandishing a gun at the University of Massachusetts Amherst when he went to pick up a teenage friend in January 2016.

Jeremy Arbore, 20, of Sheffield, pleaded guilty in Northampton Superior Court Monday to unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of a loaded firearm, carrying a firearm on school grounds and assault by means of a dangerous weapon. In a separate but related indictment, Arbore admitted to a count of failure to appear in court.

As part of the plea agreement, four other charges against Arbore were dropped including two charges related to unlawful possession of a large capacity weapon.

Shortly after court proceedings began, Arbore became visibly emotional, prompting his attorney to request to speak with the judge. Following a brief discussion between his attorney Rachel Weber, Assistant Northwestern District Attorney Steven Gagne, Judge John Ferrara and Court Clerk Harry Jekanowski, Jr., a brief recess was called.

“You’ll get through this,” Jekanowski told Arbore before Ferrara returned to the court room.

After a tearful Arbore conferred with his attorney, the court proceedings resumed.

On Jan. 23, 2016, Arbore received a call from a 15-year-old female friend asking to be picked up at the UMass Amherst campus where she had been attending a party. When Arbore arrived with another young man, an argument broke out between Arbore and two people over which vehicle the teen should get into, Gagne told the judge.

At some point in the argument, Arbore revealed a “fully functional firearm” which made one of the other individuals fearful that the gun would be used against him, Gagne said.

Weber clarified that there were no allegations that the gun was pointed at anybody.

The man reported the incident to police, who located Arbore a short time later on Route 9 in Hadley. When police stopped him, they recovered a Beretta PX4 Storm 9 mm, loaded with a 17-round magazine.

Arbore also pleaded guilty on Monday to failing to appear in court after he cut off a GPS monitoring ankle bracelet and left the state. He was found months later in Florida after being pulled over for a traffic stop, Gagne said.

“His anxiety was a big part of his decision-making process that night a well as when he fled the state,” Weber told the judge.

She added that Arbore made a “series of very bad decisions.”

Before handing down the sentence, Ferrara asked both attorneys why they felt the Hampshire County House of Corrections was a reasonable sentence over state prison.

Gagne answered that it was not in Arbore’s best interest or society’s to send him to state prison with “hardened criminals.”

For unlawfully possessing a firearm, Arbore was sentenced to serve two years concurrent with a one year sentence for bringing the firearm onto school grounds. A one-year sentence to be served after the two years in prison are completed was imposed for possessing a loaded firearm.

Arbore has already been in jail for 308 days.

Upon his release, Arbore will serve three years probation for the other charges. Conditions of his probation include he not use alcohol or drugs, not use, handle or transport firearms and that he stay off the UMass campus as well as undergo a mental health evaluation.