Bid for new trial in assault case fails

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PITTSFIELD — A city man lost his bid for a new trial in a 2003 assault case after a judge ruled there was no "risk of a miscarriage of justice" to warrant one.

Ronald D. Kyse, who was 25 at the time of the attack, pleaded guilty in 2004 to two counts of armed assault to murder, one count of mayhem, and one count of nighttime armed assault and burglary.

His attorney, James McKenna, argued Kyse's trial lawyer had not received phone records that would have established the burglary to which he pleaded occurred in the daytime, not the nighttime, which carries different potential penalties than its daytime counterpart.

The motion was heard in mid-April in Berkshire Superior Court and Judge Daniel Ford issued his ruling about a week later.

"Although plea counsel may not have had the phone records in question, it appears clear that the defendant could have obtained them and could have argued this issue in his first motion for new trial. However, he did not, and the Appeals Court affirmed my denial of that motion," Ford wrote in part of his one-page ruling.

"While I have discretion to consider the issue, I realize that such discretion should be restricted to those extraordinary cases where, upon sober reflection, it appears that a miscarriage of justice might otherwise result," Ford wrote. "I perceive no risk of a miscarriage of justice. Accordingly, this motion is denied."

Kyse admitted he was let in to the apartment of the victim, then 18, and attacked her with a knife and a paint brush before leaving. He was sentenced to 18 to 20 years in state prison on the armed assault charges and 25 to 30 years on the burglary charge.

Contact Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249.


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