Homeless man pleads not guilty to manslaughter charge in YMCA beating death

PITTSFIELD, Mass. (NEWS10) – Brian Signor was arraigned Tuesday morning on a Manslaughter charge in connection with the death of Joseph Wirtes in September.

Signor, 27, appeared in Berkshire Superior Court Tuesday, where he pleaded not guilty to one count of Manslaughter.

The fatal incident started with a 911 call for help from the YMCA apartments in Pittsfield around 2:30 a.m. September 18. When EMTs arrived, they found 44-year-old Joseph Wirtes in this third-floor apartment unresponsive and bleeding from the nose.

He died hours later at the hospital.

According to court documents, one of Wirtes’s neighbors told police that she, Signor and Wirtes had been drinking together from Saturday night into Sunday morning. Things then spun out of control and ended with Signor punching Wirtes in the face and choking him.

Signor is being held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $250,000 bail.

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