PITTSFIELD -- A city man who police say lied to them during their investigation into a 2011 shooting death had that case continued without a change of plea, but will be serving 18 months in jail on an unrelated drug-dealing charge.

Jamel Nicholson, 24, appeared before Judge John A. Agostini and pleaded guilty to distribution of cocaine and conspiracy to violate the drug laws in relation to drug dealing in Pittsfield in November 2011 and March 2012 on Monday in Berkshire Superior Court.

One count of misleading a police officer was continued for year. If he stays out of trouble during that time, the charge will be dismissed.

According to the Berkshire District Attorney's Office, Nicholson provided "misleading information" to Pittsfield Police investigators who were looking into the Dec. 4, 2011, shooting death of 23-year-old Nikolas Carnute.

Kurt H. Hudson shot and killed Carnute after being lured to Wellington Avenue where Carnute allegedly pulled a gun, according to Eagle archives. Originally charged with murder, a grand jury refused to indict Hudson on the charge, ruling it was an act of self-defense. Hudson later pleaded guilty to gun-related charges and is serving a three- to four-year sentence.

On Monday, Nicholson pleaded guilty to the drug charges as part of a deal between his lawyers and the Berkshire District Attorney's Office. The plea deal is expected to net him a total of 18 months at the Berkshire County Jail & House of Correction.

Assistant Berkshire District Richard M.


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Locke said the Berkshire County Drug Task Force had wiretaps showing that Nicholson had conspired to sell cocaine. Locke said audio and video recordings show Nicholson making a drug sale to an undercover officer.

Nicholson, who was the victim of stabbing in April, was allowed two weeks before being sentenced to jail so he could see a doctor for a follow-up visit concerning the wound. Nicholson was released on personal recognizance pending formal sentencing on July 22.

To reach Andrew Amelinckx:
aamelinckx@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6249.
On Twitter: @BE_TheAmelinckx