Man sentenced to jail in South Hadley home invasion, shooting

Published: 3/28/2018 5:43:45 PM

NORTHAMPTON — A 19-year-old man was sentenced to 18 months in jail Wednesday after admitting to charges related to a violent South Hadley home invasion in November 2016 in which a man was shot.

Joseph Massa, who court documents list as of Chester, pleaded guilty in Hampshire Superior Court to charges of home invasion, armed robbery, assault and battery by discharging a firearm, carrying a firearm without a license, possessing ammunition without a firearms identification card and conspiracy.

Three other charges — assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, possession of a loaded firearm and defacing a firearm serial number — were dropped.

Detailing the allegations, Assistant Northwestern District Attorney Jeremy Bucci explained that Massa and two other men planned to rob a 29-year-old man who had sold marijuana to Massa in the past. Massa contacted that Amherst Road resident to arrange a purchase on Nov. 26, 2016. The two other men helped carry out the attack — Robert VanHoy, 20, of South Hadley, and Dupree Hinds, 31, of Chicopee — have pleaded not guilty to similar charges, prosecutors said.

When the three men arrived on that November day, Massa went into the residence followed by Hinds and VanHoy, Bucci said. Hinds pulled out a firearm and pointed it at the man, demanding he hand over all the drugs he had. The man refused and told the three he would call police. It was at that time Hinds shot the man once in the stomach, Bucci said. The bullet went through the man’s stomach, creating two holes, and out from his backside, causing a third.

After being shot, Bucci said the man punched Hinds in the face, splitting his lip and knocking off Hinds’ hat and a shoe. Massa, VanHoy and Hinds fled following the incident. The man was taken to an area hospital where he underwent surgery for damage caused by the bullet going through his intestines, the prosecutor explained.

Massa later admitted that he had been involved in the incident, Bucci said.

Defense attorney Marissa Elkins told Judge Mary-Lou Rup that Massa had been susceptible to Hinds’ influence and did not share in Hinds’ recklessness, nor would Massa have come up with the plan on his own.

The 18-month jail sentence was presented to Rup as a plea recommendation. Rup handed down the sentence telling Massa he was “a very lucky man.”

Massa had been held on bail for 394 days before being released in December. He will receive credit for that time and was taken into custody following Wednesday’s hearing to serve the remainder of his sentence in jail. He was also sentenced to two years of probation with conditions that he stay away and have no contact with the victim, remain drug free and enroll in school or seek employment.

Emily Cutts can be reached at

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