PITTSFIELD -- A 29-year-old North Adams ex-convict who had been out of prison for less than two months when he knocked out a 60-year-old with a punch is heading back to state prison for a two- to four-year stint after pleading guilty to felony assault and battery.
Shane M. Rohane admitted last week in Berkshire Superior Court that he punched the 60-year-old North Adams man outside a bar on Oct. 4. The blow knocked the man out and "severely" injured him, according to the prosecutor.
According to Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Gregory Barry, the victim confronted Rohane for trying to steal his bicycle. The man walked away when Rohane landed an "unprovoked" punch to the head from behind. The 60-year-old man lost consciousness and hit the ground. He cracked his bottom dentures and suffered an eye injury that required surgery, as well as a ruptured spleen.
Barry said Rohane had been out of state prison less than two months for a cocaine distribution conviction at the time of the attack. The prosecutor said Rohane has a history of assaultive behavior.
"He's graduated to state prison," Barry told the court Wednesday.
Rohane's attorney, Michelle Mechta, told a different story about what happened.
According to her, there was no bicycle, and instead the 60-year-old instigated the incident by threatening Rohane and his brother through taunts and by following him from one bar to another, after Rohane walked away from the situation.
Mechta said that Rohane and the man knew each other, but did not elaborate about what led up to the 60-year-old allegedly threatening Rohane. She sought a 21 2 year Berkshire County Jail & House of Correction sentence for her client.
Judge C. Jeffrey Kinder said that because of the defendant's record and the facts of the case, Rohane should be sent to state prison. He sentenced Rohane to at least two years and no more than four years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction.
Two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon were dismissed at the request of the DA's office.
The investigation was handled by the North Adams Police Department.