PITTSFIELD — A judge denied a request to reduce bail on Wednesday for one of the suspects accused of taking part in the assault and shooting of Nick Carnevale last August.
Earlier this week, Joseph Harty, the attorney representing Kevin Nieves, asked Judge Karen L. Goodwin to reduce Nieves' bail from $20,000 to $5,000 on charges including armed assault with intent to murder, and aggravated assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
Harty argued that evidence culled from a Facebook conversation in which a key witness allegedly tells one of Nieves' family members they gave police bad information regarding Nieves' role in the Aug. 21 shooting significantly changed the circumstances of the case and weakened the state's position.
Carnevale, 20, was shot while trying to leave a party near the Ashley Reservoir.
Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Joseph Yorlano argued that the messages changed nothing and that it's the state's contention that it was co-defendant Luis Delvalle-Rodriguez who actually pulled the trigger that night. Nieves, Delvalle-Rodriguez and co-defendants Daquan Douglas and Christopher Frazier are all being charged together under the theory that the assault was a joint venture between the men.
Nieves also has a pending case of witness intimidation for allegedly contacting that witness from jail and asking them to change their story.
The Facebook messages were posted after Nieves already was charged with the intimidation count, Yorlano said.
In her decision, filed in Berkshire Superior Court on Wednesday, Goodwin noted that, despite the messages, the witness in question has not informed law enforcement her original statement was false.
After considering the evidence, Goodwin said in her decision, "The court concludes that the Facebook messages do not constitute a significant change in circumstances warranting reconsideration of the bail set by the court."
Harty also submitted several letters of support for Nieves, which Goodwin said she appreciated but added that, without a change in circumstances, the letters alone also do not warrant a bail reduction.
According to information aired in court and documents obtained by The Eagle, Carnevale and two friends went to a party apparently organized via a private Facebook group. Nieves allegedly warned the woman who accompanied Carnevale to the party not to bring him, and made veiled threats.
At some point, Carnevale and others tried to leave, but his truck got stuck in mud as a group, wielding sticks and other pieces of wood, pulled Carnevale from the truck and attacked him.
Multiple gunshots were fired and Carnevale was struck in the head. Prosecutors have said his survival is miraculous.
Delvalle-Rodriguez remains held on $20,000 bail; Douglas and Frazier are being held on bail of $10,000 and $5,000, respectively.
Bob Dunn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, at @BobDunn413 on Twitter and 413-496-6249.