Man who fired shots at Lake Mansfield released from jail, on home detention, substance monitoring

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GREAT BARRINGTON — A man who police say fired a gun at Lake Mansfield beach and threatened a convenience store clerk was placed on home detention after his release from jail in November.

After a Nov. 21 bail review in Berkshire Superior Court, Nathan Bona, 21, of Southfield, was released into his mother's custody on the conditions he only leave her home to work with her at her landscaping business, or to attend his substance abuse and mental health programs.

Bona also has to abide by a 6 a.m.-to-6 p.m. curfew, and submit to random drug and alcohol testing.

Bona and Austin Whitney, 22, were arrested Oct. 10 in Great Barrington after a night during which Bona allegedly shot off multiple rounds at the lake before picking a fight at Cumberland Farms and verbally threatening the store clerk while showing her his gun.

Police caught up with the men a motor vehicle stop, and, after a Breathalyzer test, found Bona, who was driving, to be inebriated.

In Southern Berkshire District Court, Bona had pleaded not guilty to assault with a dangerous weapon, intent to commit a crime and driving while under the influence of liquor; Whitney pleaded not guilty to two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon.

Though Whitney had been released from jail soon after the arrest, Bona was held after a judge determined that he was a danger to the community.

On Thursday, Judge Paul Vrabel set another pretrial hearing for Bona, for March 8; Whitney's jury trial had previously been set for June 6 in Berkshire Superior Court.

Bona's attorney said that at the bail hearing, she got the assistant district attorney to agree that Bona did not any longer appear to be a danger to the community, and so she was able to get him released earlier than the February date prescribed last fall.

"The night in question was an aberration," said Lori Levinson. "There was no past history of criminal conduct or violence."

Levinson also said she plans to file a motion to dismiss the assault and destruction-of-property charges.

"When he allegedly fired the weapon, he wasn't doing it towards any human being," Levinson said.

She also said there is no evidence to support that he damaged a storage shed at the lake.

Heather Bellow can be reached at hbellow@berkshireeagle.com or on Twitter at @BE_hbellow and 413-329-6871.


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