Greenfield man arraigned on arson charges
Also facing weapons, drug charges from before barn-burning incident
What was left of two barns at 16 Hatchery Road in Montague on Wednesday morning after an alleged arson. (Recorder/Paul Franz) Purchase photo reprints »
GREENFIELD — The Greenfield man who allegedly burned two barns belonging to his father and stepmother in Montague on Wednesday did so following arguments with his father over his Tuesday arrest with drug and weapons charges, according to police reports,
Judge Mark Mason ordered Cody L. Adams, 22, of 112 Conway St., be held without bail pending trial in both cases following his arraignment in Greenfield District Court on Thursday, with a no-contact order protecting the victims of the alleged arson.
Mason appointed an attorney and entered a plea of innocent on the younger Adams’ behalf on the three felony charges of arson of a dwelling and the earlier Greenfield misdemeanor charges: two counts of carrying a dangerous weapon — brass knuckles and a switchblade — and one count of possession of a Class E substance, the anti-anxiety medication Clonazepam.
Two barns belonging to Robert and Lisa Adams, Cody Adams’ father and step-mother, burned to the ground on Hatchery Road early Wednesday morning, the fires lit while the family slept in a modular home near enough across the narrow street that the siding began to melt from the heat of the blaze.
According to Detective Brian Dobosz of the Montague Police department, the younger Adams told police he set fire to both barns, drawing a diagram of how he splashed the interiors with gasoline. “He then left the area only to return to make sure it was burning,” Dobosz wrote.
A state trooper responding to the fire spotted Adams’ car leaving the area nine minutes after the initial report and ran the plate number, leading to Adams’ arrest.
According to the reports filed by Dobosz and State Trooper Michael O’Neil, Robert Adams told them at the fire that he suspected his son and that the two had had a falling out over what he thought was Cody Adams’ alcohol and drug use and neglect of his infant son, who lives with Cody Adams’ mother. This week, they had argued by phone when Cody Adams called following his arrest Tuesday, first to ask that his father “talk sense into” his arresting officer, then asking for a ride from the station for his presence at the scheduled Friday arraignment. Robert Adams said he could not, due to work and family responsibilities each time, according to the report, prompting threats from his son.
Cody Adams described a similar situation when interviewed by police, saying that he had alcohol and drug problems and that his father was not supportive.
Greenfield police charged Cody Adams following a traffic stop on Conway Street Tuesday. The arresting officer reported that he noticed a large knife in the car and searching the car found the switchblade and pills after Adams volunteered the presence of marijuana and brass knuckles in the center console when asked about weapons.
Dobosz and O’Neil found Cody Adams’ car at his home address after the fire and impounded it after observing what Dobosz said appeared to be a revolver, with airgun pellets nearby, as well as two knives in the car and a smell of gasoline on the passenger-side window frame.
Cody Adams returned phone messages from police that day and agreed to be taken to the Montague police station. There, he initially said he had nothing to do with the fire, Dobosz wrote.
“After further discussion, Adams began to break down and stated that he was the one who started the fire,” Dobosz wrote. Adams said he was accompanied by a friend but would not give a last name, according to the report.
“Cody stated that he was an alcoholic and drug user and rehab did nothing for him; his whole life was a mess,” Dobosz wrote.
Cody Adams’ next court date is April 1.
Robert and Lisa Adams have been working to build a farm on Hatchery Road, and lost a tractor, tools and personal possessions with the barns.