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 a special election in November of 2004. Mr. Capeless has been re-elected to full, four-year terms in 2006, 2010 and 2014, the last two elections running unopposed.
Mr. Capeless presently serves as the President of the Massachusetts District Attorney’s Association
Mr. Capeless has been a prosecutor for his entire legal career - over thirty-three 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 one of the first school shootings in the nation, the 1992 shootings at Simon’s Rock College in Great Barrington by student Wayne Lo.
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 most recently prosecuted Adam Lee Hall, David Chalue and Caius Veiovis for the kidnapping and murders of David Glasser, Edward Frampton and Robert Chadwell of Pittsfield, securing convictions of First Degree Murder and multiple life sentences without parole for all three defendants. Those convictions – despite no identified crime scene, weapons or forensic evidence directly linking the defendants – were obtained through the most thorough investigation in Berkshire County history, led by Mr. Capeless.
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 (cum laude). He is 63 years old, and lives in West Stockbridge with his wife, Betsy, and his two sons, Charlie and Sam.