PITTSFIELD — A jury on Tuesday reached a split verdict in the case against Kevin Nieves and Daquan Douglas in connection with the shooting of Nick Carnevale.
Both men were acquitted of the most serious charge of armed assault with intent to murder, but Nieves was convicted on all other charges, including kidnapping and numerous counts of assault and battery. Douglas was cleared on all but one charge: misleading a police officer.
Sentencing is scheduled for 10 a.m. today. At the request of Assistant District Attorney Joseph Yorlano, who prosecuted the case, Judge John Agostini ordered Douglas and Nieves held without the right to bail overnight.
After deliberating for most of the day, jurors filed into Berkshire Superior Court about 4:15 p.m. Wednesday and delivered the verdict.
“This is the first time we’ve been able to breathe in four years,” said Cara Petricca, Carnevale’s mother, after the jury returned the verdict. “To have that hanging over you is a lot.”
Carnevale was shot twice in the head and gravely injured on Aug. 21, 2018, while trying to leave a gathering at October Mountain State Forest in Washington. He has undergone multiple surgeries and procedures since then and continues to recuperate.
Two others also are facing charges in the shooting: Christopher Frazier and Luis Delvalle-Rodriguez, who is accused of pulling the trigger. Their case is pending.
Marc Carnevale, Nick’s father, said it was difficult for him to watch his son’s peers testify during the trial, when they recounted details of the shooting that left his son fighting for his life. He is proud of those witnesses, and said he was satisfied with the outcome.
“I’m really relieved that this first trial is over with the process worked,” he said. “Finally, there’s some justice for Nick. And he’s [Nieves] going to be held accountable for what he did to my son.”
Both parents said they were looking forward to going home and telling Nick about the outcome.
Marc Carnevale said they weren’t surprised the jury acquitted Douglas on almost all the charges, because of what they heard from witnesses on the stand.
The jury convicted Douglas of lying to the police about where and how he got a slice wound to his rib area. While Douglas told police he was attacked at a basketball court in South County, Carnevale said the guilty finding shows the jury believed Douglas was injured at the party in October Mountain State Forest where the shooting occurred.
Marc Carnevale said his son is doing well physically, went skiing last winter and cooks for the family often.
Based on the jury’s decision to find Nieves guilty of all charges but the most serious one, Marc Carnevale said it seems like jurors believed the prosecution’s general theory that Luis Delvalle-Rodriguez shot Nick, and Nieves “did everything else but pull the trigger.”
The charges Nieves was found guilty on were: assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily harm, assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, armed kidnapping with serious bodily injury, two counts of assault and battery, and a single count of malicious damage to a motor vehicle.
Petricca expressed concern for Douglas and Nieves and their families.
“It’s not a win by any means for anybody. I feel for the mothers of these other kids, I understand their loss as well,” she said. “And, unfortunately, Nick lost the most. And that’s something we can’t ever get justice for.”
“So we just have to move on,” she said. “I hope that [Nieves and Douglas] move through this and change their lives just like Nick changed his life.”
Berkshire District Attorney Andrea Harrington said she was grateful the jury held Nieves accountable, and thanked jurors for listening to the evidence and rendering their verdict.
While a conviction on the most serious charge of armed assault with intent to murder would have been preferred, she said her office’s overall feeling was one of “satisfaction that we have accountability.”
“I am truly in awe of Nick’s strength during his long and difficult recovery from the injuries he sustained that night,” she said in a prepared statement. “He is an inspiration to our entire community, and I look forward to hearing about and seeing every milestone in his continued fight.”
Defense lawyer Dale Bass represented Douglas, and Joseph Harty represented Nieves. After the verdict, Bass said he believes jurors took great care when weighing the facts of the case.
“We have absolutely no doubt that they carefully deliberated all the issues here, they took the time to carefully look at everything,” he said. “I think it’s a just verdict.”