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Police / Fire / Courts

FILE - This undated file photo released Friday, April 19, 2013, by the FBI shows Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Tsarnaev’s life is on the line as his lawyers return to federal court to make their case that he should be spared the death penalty. Tsarnaev’s defense team is set to begin presenting witnesses on Monday, April 27, 2015, in the penalty phase of his trial, the stage that will determine whether he is executed or spends the rest of his life behind bars. Tsarnaev, 21, already has been convicted of 30 federal charges in the twin bombings that killed three spectators and injured more than 260 others near the marathon’s finish line on April 15, 2013. Seventeen of those charges carry the possibility of the death penalty. (AP Photo/FBI, File)

Lawyer pleads for bomber’s life

Monday, April 27, 2015

BOSTON — Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s lawyers pleaded with a jury Monday to spare his life, portraying him as “a good kid” who was led down the path to terrorism by his increasingly fanatical older brother. David Bruck delivered the defense’s opening statement in the penalty phase of Tsarnaev’s trial, saying there is no punishment Tsarnaev can get that would be equal to the suffering of the bombing victims. “There is no evening the scales,” Bruck said. “There is no point in trying to hurt him as he hurt because it can’t be done.” Tsarnaev, 21, was convicted earlier this month in the twin …

Coast Guard suspends search for 4 missing

Monday, April 27, 2015

DAUPHIN ISLAND, Ala. (AP) — As torrential rain and heavy winds battered Alabama’s coast Monday, the U.S. Coast Guard suspended its search for four people missing after a deadly weekend storm killed two people and played havoc with a yearly sailboat race in Mobile Bay. The agency said the search — in which …

Colo. theater shooter’s trial begins

Monday, April 27, 2015

CENTENNIAL, Colo. — Two versions of the unstable mind of James Holmes were presented to a jury Monday as lawyers revealed many more details about his conversion from a promising grad student to a gunman capable of opening fire on hundreds of unsuspecting moviegoers at a “Batman” premiere. The lead prosecutor displayed an …

Robert Sokolowski Jr. of Northampton expected to plead guilty in U.S. District Court to second child pornography charge

Monday, April 27, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — A city man who already served nearly four years in state prison for possession of child pornography is likely headed back to prison for a longer term as part of a plea agreement on a separate possession charge from 2013. Robert F. Sokolowski Jr., 42, is …

Four men arrested for violating Amherst noise and nuisance house bylaws during party on Sunset Court

Monday, April 27, 2015

AMHERST — In what could be the final spring weekend featuring large parties in town, police said only one major disturbance led to arrests. Final exams at the University of Massachusetts begin Friday. About a dozen officers responded to a large party at 15 Sunset Court at 11:28 …

Though no sign of problematic Breathalyzer readings in Hampshire and Franklin counties, Northwestern district attorney’s office putting off three OUI trials as state investigates calibration issue

Monday, April 27, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — None of the 69 cases identified statewide involving questionable Breathalyzer results is in Hampshire or Franklin counties, according to the Northwestern district attorney’s office. First Assistant Northwestern District Attorney Steven E. Gagne said the Executive Office …

Area police news

Monday, April 27, 2015

Amherst ∎ A fence at Puffer’s Pond was allegedly damaged by three men and a woman who tossed its top portion into the water at 7:55 p.m. Saturday. They fled before police arrived. ∎ A woman reported at 3:03 a.m. Saturday that her purse, containing a cellphone, wallet …

Northampton man with Alzheimer’s disease, missing for four hours, found downtown shortly after robocall alert

Monday, April 27, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — An 89-year-old Highland Avenue man with Alzheimer’s disease was found safe in downtown Northampton Monday morning, about 10 minutes after a robocall alerted city residents to watch for him because he had been missing for about four hours. Detective Lt. Alan Borowski said Monday that a …

Five missing after Ala. regatta hit by storm

Monday, April 27, 2015

DAUPHIN ISLAND, Ala. — Coast Guard crews searched for five people missing Sunday after recovering two bodies following a powerful weekend storm that capsized several sailboats competing in a regatta near Mobile Bay. One body was discovered after …

Japanese PM visits US to showcase close ties

Sunday, April 26, 2015

TOKYO — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrived in the U.S. on Sunday for a weeklong visit to showcase the success of the alliance built from Tokyo’s defeat in World War II, while promoting a political agenda based …

Baltimore mourns man who died in custody

Sunday, April 26, 2015

BALTIMORE — Mourners filed for hours on Sunday past the coffin of the man who died after sustaining serious injuries in the custody of Baltimore police, somberly paying respects after a night of violent protests. The stream of …

Northampton Police Briefs

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Northampton ∎ Douglas Morse, 35, who provided an address as the streets of Northampton, was arrested at 10 a.m. Sunday on Pleasant Street on a charge of shoplifting, third offense, after he allegedly left the CVS Pharmacy, 90 Main St., without paying for $58.94 in razors, police said. …

Hadley police break up 300-student party

Sunday, April 26, 2015

HADLEY — More than 300 college-age people gathered in a field behind a North Maple Street home were cleared out by police before causing a major disturbance Saturday afternoon. With hundreds of people already on site behind the rental home at 26 North Maple St., and an additional …