Northampton man charged with shooting at neighbors completes hospital stay

Hampshire County Courthouse

Hampshire County Courthouse GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

By JAMES PENTLAND

Staff Writer

Published: 07-10-2024 11:12 AM

NORTHAMPTON — A city man facing 13 charges after allegedly firing an assault rifle into his neighbors’ apartment in December was moved Tuesday from a hospital to jail following a hearing in Hampshire Superior Court.

Joshua Martinelli, 29, appeared before Judge Bertha Josephson the day he was released from the Worcester Recovery Center following a six-month stay.

He was charged with four counts of assault to murder and four felony weapons counts, among other charges, for firing 17 rounds from an AK-47-style rifle through a shared interior wall into his neighbors’ apartment at their Wright Avenue home, according to prosecutors. None of the four adults inside the adjoining residence was injured, but one just narrowly missed being shot when a bullet traveled through the pants he was wearing, authorities said.

Assistant District Attorney Andrew Covington told Josephson that Martinelli had been arraigned in Superior Court in May and had been found not competent to stand trial by Judge John Agostini. The judge also ordered Martinelli held without the right to bail based on dangerousness after his release from the hospital.

Covington said the doctor’s report suggested that Martinelli’s condition might improve if he continued with his medication, and he did not recommend further hospitalization.

Martinelli reportedly told police when he was arrested Dec. 7 that he believed his neighbors had been trying to poison his dog for some time, and that his dog had told him to shoot them. He said he fired several rounds through the downstairs and upstairs walls. The people next door told police they dived to the floor when they heard the shots.

Defense attorney Thomas Glynn said he had no objection to his client being jailed pending a further hearing Sept. 12.

The charges against Martinelli, who had no license to carry a firearm, include animal cruelty for subjecting his dog to gunfire inside his residence.

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