PITTSFIELD -- Kurt H. Hudson, the man who shot and killed a 23-year-old in self-defense last December, was sentenced on Monday in Berkshire Superior Court to between three and four years in prison for illegally possessing the .38-caliber pistol used in the shooting.

While Hudson, 26, of Pittsfield, was originally charged with murder for the Dec. 4, 2011, death of Nikolas Carnute in Pittsfield, a grand jury refused to indict him on such a charge, citing it was an act of self-defense.

On Monday, Hudson pleaded guilty to single counts of illegal possession of a firearm and possession of a firearm with a prior conviction for a serious drug offense.

Hudson's attorney, Timothy J. Shugrue, said his client was lured to Wellington Avenue at about 11:30 p.m. on Dec. 4. While Hudson was sitting in a car in a driveway, two cars pulled up and Carnute stuck a gun in Hudson's window. Hudson pulled out onto the street and fired twice while driving backward down Wellington Avenue. One of the bullets struck Carnute in the head, and he later died from the wound.

Shugrue told the court the trouble started after Carnute, whom he alleged was a Bloods gang member, was released from prison in February 2011 and believed that Hudson had been involved with a girlfriend. The attorney said his client was "living in fear" of Carnute.

Neither Carnute's gun nor Hudson's were ever recovered. Police believe one of Carnute's associates picked up his weapon before leaving the scene. Hudson fled to South Carolina, where he was arrested by local authorities and returned to Massachusetts.

On Monday, First Assistant District Attorney Paul J. Caccaviello asked that Hudson serve a four- to five-year sentence in state prison. Shugrue asked for a lesser sentence of three to three years and a day, since one of the charges carries a minimum mandatory of three years in prison. Shugrue also asked that Hudson be allowed to serve the time in county jail for his protection because of death threats he has received.

According to Shugrue, Hudson's girlfriend was stabb ed seven times in retaliation, and Hudson fears for her life, his young son's and his own. The girlfriend recovered from the Oct. 4 attack.

According to police, they have no reason to believe the woman's stabbing was related to Hudson's case. Police say she has been uncooperative and the case is closed unless she starts cooperating.

On Monday, Judge John A. Agostini decided to sentence Hudson to at least three years and a maximum of four years in prison with the recommendation the time be served in a county jail, but under the supervision of state prison officials.

Hudson, who has been held on $100,000 bail, has already served 340 days awaiting the conclusion of his case.

To reach Andrew Amelinckx:
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