Another arrest made in connection with shooting in town of Washington

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PITTSFIELD — A second man has been arrested in connection with the alleged kidnapping, assault and shooting of a 19-year-old man near Ashley Reservoir in Washington last week.

Luis A. Del Valle Rodriguez, 23, of Pittsfield, is being held without bail, pending his arraignment Tuesday in Westfield District Court. He was arrested early Saturday on a warrant issued by Pittsfield police.

Court records, filed Monday in Central Berkshire District Court and obtained by The Eagle, indicate authorities might have additional suspects in the shooting.

In a motion to have probable cause reports sealed in the Rodriguez case, the commonwealth said that "disclosure of the information ... will be harmful to the orderly and thorough prosecution" of the case.

The seal on records in the case means public details are few. But in the motion seeking the seal, which was granted, the commonwealth stated that crime scene "witnesses reported that a number of unidentified persons participated in these crimes and these suspects remain at large."

The alleged shooter, Kevin Nieves, 19, of Pittsfield, was arrested hours after last Tuesday's shooting and is being held temporarily without bail. Nieves has pleaded not guilty to charges of armed assault to murder, illegal possession of a loaded firearm, kidnapping, and assault and battery.

Authorities have not released the name of the victim, who was last listed in critical condition at a hospital outside of the Berkshires. The Berkshire District Attorney's Office did not provide an update of the man's condition Monday.

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The Rodriguez arraignment is being handled in Westfield District Court because of apparent conflicts of interest for Berkshire-area court officials, including Judge Jennifer Tyne and several area defense attorneys. The details of the potential conflicts were not aired in court.

In addition to his pending charges in connection with the shooting, Rodriguez has an open car theft case pending, and was on probation after pleading guilty to a domestic violence charge. His new charges may be a violation of that probation and have already prompted the court to revoke his bail on the open car theft case.

In March, Rodriguez pleaded guilty to assault and battery on a family or household member and witness intimidation. His case was continued without a finding for 18 months with the conditions he complete a batterer's program and not abuse the victim in the case. That probation was due to expire on Sept. 16, 2019.

On Aug. 17, four days before his alleged participation in the shooting, Rodriguez was arraigned on a charge of motor vehicle larceny, stemming from a June 7 incident. Rodriguez is alleged to have taken a car without permission before getting involved in a rollover accident with it and leaving the scene.

He told police he was a passenger in the car when it went off the road after being hit from behind by a truck. He told police he didn't remember anything else after that, including who brought him to the hospital where he was being treated for injuries that were not life-threatening.

Police later retrieved Rodriguez's text messages to the car's owner, which appear to show him apologizing for taking the car without permission.

Bob Dunn can be reached at bdunn@berkshireeagle.com, at @BobDunn413 on Twitter and 413-496-6249.


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