Athol man held on $20K bond following dangerousness hearing

Staff Report

Published: 02-24-2023 4:39 PM

James Murphy of Athol was ordered held on a $20,000 bond following a dangerousness hearing on Friday.

Murphy is one of six Athol and Orange residents facing charges stemming from an alleged assault that occurred on Feb. 1. Franklin Payne, 46, April Mccassie, 41, Brian Chamberland, 38, and Ronald Mitchell, 32—all of Athol—and Marlene Hill, 44, of Orange, have all been charged in connection with the incident. Murphy will be held at Franklin County Jail and House of Correction and will return to court on March 31.

According to information provided by the Northwestern District Attorney’s office, two people were held against their will for four hours in a house in Athol. One of the victims of the alleged assault reported the incident to Athol Police the following day and in the ensuing investigation, the six people were arrested. Each of the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges in Orange District Court on Friday, Feb. 17.

Payne is charged with armed robbery, assault to maim, kidnapping, stealing by confining or putting in fear, assault and battery by dangerous weapon, assault and battery and conspiracy. He was ordered released upon posting $2,500 cash bail and ordered to wear a GPS monitoring device, stay away from Athol, have no contact with the victims and reside in Randolph with his mother. The case was continued until April 18.

Mccassie is charged with armed robbery, kidnapping, stealing by confining or putting in fear, assault and battery, and conspiracy, was ordered released upon posting $2,000 cash bail and ordered to have no contact with the victims. Her case was continued until April 28.

Chamberland is charged with armed robbery, kidnapping, stealing by confining or putting in fear, assault and battery, and conspiracy, was ordered released upon posting $1,000 cash bail under the condition that he have no contact with the victims.

Murphy is charged with armed robbery, kidnapping, stealing by confining or putting in fear and assault and battery.

Mitchell and Hill are both charged with kidnapping, unarmed robbery, breaking and entering with intent to commit larceny in a building and conspiracy. They were released on personal recognizance with conditions they stay away and have no contact with the victims and remain drug and alcohol free with random screens.

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