Greenfield homicide victim to be memorialized in Pittsfield

Services for Christopher Hairston, 35, will be held Thursday at the Devanny-Condron Funeral Home in Pittsfield from 4 to 6:30 p.m.

Services for Christopher Hairston, 35, will be held Thursday at the Devanny-Condron Funeral Home in Pittsfield from 4 to 6:30 p.m. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

By ANTHONY CAMMALLERI

Staff Writer

Published: 05-01-2024 7:36 PM

GREENFIELD — Services for Christopher Hairston, 35, who was identified as the victim in last week’s slaying on Chapman Street, will be held Thursday at the Devanny-Condron Funeral Home in Pittsfield from 4 to 6:30 p.m.

Hairston, a drummer from Pittsfield, was found dead on April 22 after reports of a foul odor led Greenfield police to investigate his former apartment at 92 Chapman St.

Born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Pittsfield, Hairston attended Taconic High School and co-captained the wrestling team before graduating in 2007, according to his obituary. Hairston also played in the marching band and received the Taconic High School Music Award in his senior year. He later went on to earn a liberal arts degree from Berkshire Community College.

Hairston’s obituary, which was published Tuesday in the Berkshire Eagle, described him as an “exceptional and naturally talented percussionist,” who performed in a group known as the Berkshire Rhythm Keepers, as well as the KDZ Drum Team and his group, the Blue Light Jazz Trio.

“Chris ‘Stix’ was a fun-loving spirit with a big, open heart, infectious laugh and deep understanding of rhythm and being ‘in the pocket’ as he would say. His contribution and connection to the drum community reached far and wide,” the obituary states.

Attempts to reach Hairston’s family members were unsuccessful this week.

Taaniel Herberger-Brown, 42, a former resident at the Greenfield apartment, was arrested at Albany International Airport on April 23 on a murder charge in connection to Hairston’s death.

During the police investigation, Herberger-Brown allegedly told investigators that a man, who he believed to be on drugs, had broken into his apartment and engaged in a physical altercation with him. Toward the end of the altercation, Herberger-Brown told police that the victim’s “heart stopped.”

Article continues after...

Yesterday's Most Read Articles

PHOTOS: Fight prompts brief traffic backup on Hope Street in Greenfield
Sunderland Bridge being reduced to one-lane traffic next week
Div. 5 softball: Turners Falls father-daughter duo of assistant coach Jay Liimatainen, pitcher Madi Liimatainen celebrate Father’s Day weekend as state champions
Div. 5 softball: Turners Falls blanks Georgetown 5-0, captures MIAA-record 11th state championship in program history (PHOTOS)
In new hands, Green River Festival returns with headliners CAKE, Fleet Foxes and Gregory Alan Isakov
Mutton and Mead organizers chart new course with ‘Roads to Revelry’

According to the clerk’s office at Albany County Court, Herberger-Brown declined to be extradited back to Massachusetts at a hearing on Monday and a warrant will need to be obtained. He is scheduled to appear before a judge in Albany on May 31 for an extradition hearing.

Herberger-Brown’s attorney Nicholas Horgan could not be reached for comment.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial scholarship will be established to help a local student further his or her education and dedication to music. Checks may be made payable to the Devanny-Condron Funeral Home and mailed to 40 Maplewood Ave., Pittsfield, MA 01201.

Anthony Cammalleri can be reached at acammalleri@recorder.com or 413-930-4429.