Two deny involvement in Amherst home invasion

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

NORTHAMPTON —  Two more men have denied their involvement in a violent Amherst home invasion last October.

Tivon LaValley, 26, of Hadley, and Warrens Gelin, 22, of Springfield, both pleaded not guilty Monday afternoon in Hampshire Superior Court to 10 counts each.

The two are charged with conspiracy to commit home invasion, conspiracy to commit armed and masked robbery, assault and battery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, aggravated assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, three counts of armed and masked robbery, breaking and entering in the nighttime and larceny in a building.

Police said LaValley and Gelin were involved with the Oct. 3, 2016, home invasion in which individuals armed and wearing tactical gear allegedly ransacked a home at 943 South East St. in Amherst in pursuit of drugs and valuables during the early morning hours. Two of the home’s residents were seriously injured while the invasion was being carried out, according to authorities.

LaValley is being held on $25,000 bail without prejudice, which means that his attorney, Colleen Currie, can request a bail hearing at a later date.

Gelin is being held on $50,000 bail without prejudice. Defense attorney Elaine Pourinski told Judge Richard Carey she would be requesting a bail review in the future.

Bail amounts for both men were undisputed and unchanged from their respective arraignments in Eastern Hampshire District Court.

A total of seven people, including Gelin and LaValley, have been arrested in connection with the home invasion.

The five other people arrested and arraigned in Hampshire Superior Court on charges related to the incident are Stephanos Georgiadis of Hadley; Patrick Bemben, formerly of Hadley; Joseph T. Barcelos of Belchertown; John Joseph Niemiec III of Sunderland; and Brittany Buckowski of Sunderland. All have pleaded not guilty and either made bail or were released with conditions.

Emily Cutts can be reached at ecutts@gazettenet.com.