David F. Capeless is the District Attorney for Berkshire County. He was appointed by Governor Mitt Romney in March of 2004 to succeed former District Attorney Gerard Downing, who died unexpectedly in December of 2003, and was elected District Attorney in November of 2004. Mr. Capeless was re-elected to a full, four-year term in November of 2006.
Mr. Capeless has been a prosecutor for his entire legal career - over twenty-eight years - having previously served as the Berkshire First Assistant District Attorney from 1991 to 2004, and before that as an Assistant District Attorney in Middlesex County from 1982 to 1990.
In 1997, Mr. Capeless was honored as the Prosecutor Of The Year by the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association.
Mr. Capeless has successfully prosecuted a number of notorious cases, including serial child-murderer Lewis Lent, who kidnapped and murdered thirteen–year-old Jimmy Bernardo of Pittsfield, and the 1992 shootings at Simon’s Rock College in Great Barrington by student Wayne Lo. Mr. Capeless also successfully prosecuted David “D-Boy” Baxter in 2004 for two shootings in downtown Pittsfield, resulting in a prison term of 35 to 45 years. Most recently, Mr. Capeless tried and convicted Patricia Olsen of First Degree Murder for the 2005 shooting in Lanesborough of her husband, Neil Olsen.
Mr. Capeless also successfully prosecuted the murder of 17-year-old Krystal Hopkins of Pittsfield by Adam Rosier, which resulted in a 1997 landmark decision by the Mass. Supreme Judicial Court, the first appellate decision in the nation which recognized the use of the STR [short tandem repeat] method of DNA testing, the method which has since become the industry standard for forensic testing of evidence.
Mr. Capeless is a native of Pittsfield. He is the son of former Pittsfield Mayor Robert Capeless, and the grandson of former Pittsfield City Councilor and State Representative Matthew Capeless.
Mr. Capeless is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Boston College Law School. He lives in West Stockbridge with his wife, Betsy, and his two sons, Charlie and Sam.