By Zach Howard
GREENFIELD, Mass (Reuters) - A New York state man was arraigned on Monday on charges he acted as an accessory to the kidnapping and murder of three Massachusetts men by several suspects arrested earlier this month, including a ranking member of a local Hells Angels chapter.
Prosecutors say one of the murdered men from the city of Pittsfield in western Massachusetts was a witness who had been scheduled to testify in another case against the Hells Angel in the coming weeks.
Appearing in Pittsfield's Central Berkshire District Court on Monday, David Casey, 62, of Canaan, New York, pleaded not guilty to three counts each of being an accessory after the fact to murder, kidnapping, and intimidation of a witness, in the deaths of David Glasser, 44, Edward Frampton, 58, and Robert Chadwell, 47.
The men disappeared under suspicious circumstances on about August 28 from an apartment Glasser and Frampton shared. Their bodies were discovered buried in a trench in Becket, in the Berkshires mountain range in western Massachusetts on September 10, said Berkshire District Attorney David Capeless.
On September 11, authorities charged Adam Hall, 34 -- a reputed sergeant-at-arms at the Berkshire Hells Angels motorcycle club -- with three counts of murder, kidnapping and intimidation of a witness in their deaths.
David Chalue, 44, and Caius Veiovis, 31, also were charged with the same counts in the triple murder. All three were arraigned on September 12.
Prosecutors say Casey helped the alleged killers dispose of the bodies.
Judge Rita Koenigs ordered that Casey be held in the Berkshire County House of Corrections on $1 million bail. He is due back in court for a hearing on October 19.
Glasser was a key witness set to testify against Hall at a trial on assault, robbery and kidnapping charges scheduled to begin on September 19. Frampton was Glasser's roommate and Chadwell a friend who spent time with the two men, authorities said.
In the upcoming trial, prosecutors had planned to present evidence that Hall slugged Glasser with a baseball bat in 2009 over a dispute, and then tried to frame Glasser last year for an upstate New York robbery to cast doubt on him as a witness.
Capeless early this month asked the court to postpone the trial because Glasser, a key state witness, was missing.
(Editing by Jerry Norton)