Defense attorneys seek change of venue in trials for 2018 shooting near Ashley Reservoir
PITTSFIELD — Defense attorneys for the four men charged in an assault and shooting of a Cheshire man are seeking to have their clients' upcoming trials moved out of Berkshire County.
Judge John Agostini said Thursday that he won't take up the issue of a change of venue for Kevin Nieves, Daquan Douglas, Luis Delvalle-Rodriguez and Christopher Frazier until the jury-selection process begins in early March.
All four men have pleaded not guilty to multiple charges connected to the Aug. 21, 2018, assault and shooting of Nick Carnevale, including armed assault with intent to murder. Carnevale was 19 at the time.
If a local jury cannot be empaneled, then the issue of moving the cases outside Berkshire County presumably would be addressed.
Agostini said the court would be seeking to seat 16 jurors for the trial, 12 of whom eventually would deliberate the case, with the other four serving as alternates.
The decision of which jurors would deliberate won't be made until the conclusion of the presentation of evidence.
Agostini said jury selection could take as long as a week to complete. The trial is expected to take up most of March.
According to information aired in court and documents obtained by The Eagle, the shooting occurred after Carnevale and two friends went to a party, apparently organized via a private Facebook group, near the Ashley Reservoir in Washington.
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.
A further pretrial hearing in the cases has been set for Feb. 28
Bob Dunn can be reached at email@example.com, at @BobDunn413 on Twitter and 413-496-6249.
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