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Man gets 4-5 years in prison in fatal vehicle wreck

  • Joshua Hall listens to his attorney, Emily Shallcross, during his plea hearing, Monday, Sept. 30, 2019 in Hampshire Superior Court. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Joshua Hall leaves the courtroom with his attorney, Emily Shallcross, after his plea hearing Monday in Hampshire Superior Court. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Joshua Hall listens to his attorney, Emily Shallcross, during his plea hearing, Monday, Sept. 30, 2019 in Hampshire Superior Court. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

Staff Writer
Published: 9/30/2019 11:32:13 PM

NORTHAMPTON — A Montgomery man pleaded guilty Monday to charges stemming from a drunken driving crash in Huntington last year that killed his girlfriend.

Joshua Allen Hall, 43, pleaded guilty in Hampshire Superior Court to one count of felony motor vehicle homicide and one count of involuntary manslaughter as part of a plea deal, and was sentenced to four to five years incarceration.

In the July 2018 crash on Route 112, Hall lost control of his truck, which flew in the air, struck several trees and ejected Melinda Carriveau, 39, resulting in her death, First Assistant District Attorney Steven Gagne said in court Monday.

Gagne said Hall’s blood alcohol level after it was drawn at Baystate Medical Center was 0.15. The legal limit for driving is 0.08 in the commonwealth.

As part of the plea agreement, Hall was sentenced to four to five years in state prison on the motor vehicle homicide charge. Hall was also sentenced to two years probation on the involuntary manslaughter charge, to be served after the completion of his prison sentence, with one of the conditions of his probation being that he abstain from alcohol.

Not all members of Carriveau’s family were in favor of Hall’s imprisonment.

While Carriveau’s parents were in the court, Gagne said that they did not wish to address the court and were in support of the plea.

“They feel that no matter what sentence were imposed here today, it would never fully level the scales,” said Gagne. “It certainly wouldn’t bring their daughter back.”

But Carriveau’s stepdaughter, Tavialea Ricardi, did address the court on Hall’s behalf, crying during parts of her statement.

“This is not something she would have wanted,” Ricardi said, referring to her stepmother. “She wouldn’t have wanted him to suffer.”

She also said that she was speaking on behalf of Carriveau’s biological daughter, Jordan Carriveau, who she said was out of state.

Ricardi said that her stepmother had “wanted to spend the rest of her life” with Hall. And she said that she and Jordan Carriveau didn’t want to take Hall away from his 13-year-old son.

“We call him our little brother,” said Ricardi. “We call Josh our dad.”

The imposition of Hall’s sentence was stayed until Friday, at his request, with no objection from the prosecution.

Hall’s attorney, Emily Shallcross, requested that Judge John Agostini recommend that Hall serve his sentence at the Hampshire County Jail and House of Correction.

“It is appropriate for him to serve his time in the House of Correction,” said Shallcross, who noted that he has no previous criminal convictions, and that his prior OUI occurred when he was 19.

The prosecution did not object to Hall serving his sentence in the Hampshire County Jail, but Agostini said his recommendation for such a course of action would be meaningless. Instead, he said that getting Hall to serve his sentence there would be the purview of the sheriff, who could request his transfer.

“They do that all the time,” said Agostini. “That is the avenue to have someone local here.”

Bera Dunau can be reached at

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