Pittsfield man indicted in alleged abuse of woman, but kidnap charge dropped


PITTSFIELD — A city man accused of abusing a woman in her apartment last month is no longer facing a kidnapping charge, but has been indicted by a Berkshire County grand jury on charges he beat and assaulted the victim over a period of days.

Richard Carnute, 54, is being held as dangerous until mid-October, at which point the issue of bail may be taken up again at a pretrial hearing.

Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Megan Tesoniero declined comment on why the kidnapping charge on which Carnute was arraigned in Central Berkshire District Court in June, was not among the charges on which he was indicted Tuesday.

Carnute has been accused of forcing his way into a woman's apartment on June 5, removing the battery from the landline phone, taking her cellphone, mentally and physically abusing her and blocking her exit from the apartment.

The woman told police she ran from the apartment on the morning of June 8 while Carnute was tending to a cut on his hand, allegedly incurred after he smashed some items inside the apartment.

Attorney Shannon Plumb, who represented Carnute in district court, said a maintenance worker at the woman's building arrived on June 6 to address an issue with a lock and had to return the following morning to finish the job.

Plumb said the worker told authorities he spoke to the woman outside of her building and found Carnute sitting on a couch inside the apartment.

Carnute, who is now represented by attorney Marc Vincelette, pleaded not guilty in Berkshire Superior Court on Tuesday before Judge Agostini to charges of assault with a dangerous weapon, strangulation or suffocation, assault and battery on a family or household member, intimidation of a witness and violation of a restraining order.

He is due back in court on Oct. 12 for a pretrial hearing.

The investigation was conducted by members of the Pittsfield Police Department.

Contact Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249.


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