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Amherst shooting suspect faces new charges after grand jury indictment

  • Soknang Chham during his arraignment in Eastern Hampshire District Court in Belchertown on Dec. 16. Chham, accused in the October shooting death of Jose M. Rodriguez, faces more charges. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

  • Soknang Chham during his arraignment in Eastern Hampshire District Court in Belchertown, Friday, Dec. 16, 2016. He is being charged in connection with the Oct. 15, 2016 shooting death of Jose M. Rodriguez, 31, at the Southpoint Apartments in Amherst.

  • Soksot Chham during his arraignment in Eastern Hampshire District Court in Belchertown, Friday, Dec. 16, 2016. He is facing a charge of being an accessory after the fact to murder in connection with the Oct. 15, 2016 shooting death of Jose M. Rodriguez, 31, at the Southpoint Apartments in Amherst.



@mjmajchrowicz
Thursday, December 29, 2016

NORTHAMPTON — A New Salem man accused in the October shooting death of Jose M. Rodriguez faces even more charges after he was indicted by a grand jury Dec. 20.

Soknang Chham, 33, who was originally charged with murder and armed assault with intent to murder in Eastern Hampshire District Court, now also faces charges of assault and battery with a firearm, assault with a dangerous weapon, illegal possession of a firearm as a subsequent offender and illegal possession of a firearm with two prior convictions for violent crimes, according to the Northwestern district attorney’s office.

Police said Soknang Chham, 33, killed Jose “Joselito” Rodriguez when he allegedly shot the 31-year-old on Oct. 15 at Southpoint Apartments in Amherst and injured another.

The man, 28, who sustained injuries after he was shot multiple times survived after undergoing surgery at UMass Medical Center in Worcester, police said.

This Hampshire County grand jury indictment means Chham will now answer to the crimes of which he is accused in Hampshire Superior Court in Northampton.

Soksot Chham, 35, also of New Salem, who faces a charge of being an accessory after-the-fact to murder in Eastern Hampshire District Court is due back in that court Jan. 25.

The brothers were originally arraigned in district court on Dec. 16 and pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against them.

When the brothers were first arraigned Dec. 16, Judge David Ross ordered Soknang held without bail at the Hampshire County Jail and House of Correction, while he set a $250,000 cash bail for Soksot, who’s being held at Franklin County Jail and House of Correction.

Both defendants were taken into custody by the United States Marshals Service on the evening of Oct. 25, near Flagstaff, Arizona, after investigators learned that they had left Massachusetts on a bus bound for Phoenix.

Michael Majchrowicz can be reached at mmajchrowicz@gazettenet.com.