DNA report expected soon in case of man accused of killing wife
PITTSFIELD — DNA testing is complete in the homicide case of Mark S. Steele-Knudslien, who is accused of beating and stabbing his wife to death this year at their North Adams home.
Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Gregory Barry said his office is awaiting a report summarizing those test results and expects it in the next week or two.
Once that report is available and shared with Steele-Knudslien's attorney, Nathaniel Green, Barry said, the state will determine what next steps regarding DNA evidence need to be taken, including whether a motion to compel Steele-Knudslien to provide a DNA sample will need to be filed.
Steele-Knudslien, 47, has pleaded not guilty to one count of murder in the Jan. 4 death of his wife, Christa Steele-Knudslien. He remains held without the right to bail.
According to court documents obtained by The Eagle, Steele-Knudslien told police he "snapped" after an argument, which began after the couple decided to inflate an air mattress and sleep downstairs in their Veazie Street home because it was too hot upstairs.
He told police they argued all the time and that Christa would call him demeaning names.
The night of her killing, he told police he decided, "I'm just going to end this ... because I'm ... sick of it."
"I don't know what made me do it," Steele-Knudslien said. "Because I love her to death."
Steele-Knudslein told police he struck his wife in the head with a hammer dozens of times before stabbing her in the back with a knife. He wrapped her body and the alleged murder weapons in a tarp and brought it into the basement. He turned himself in to police the next evening.
Steele-Knudslien and his wife were together for about a year before getting married April 15, 2017. The date is tattooed on his right arm.
According to police, Adams officers responded to the couple's Friend Street address several times throughout the day Aug. 9, 2016, for complaints by Christa against her husband, including being threatened and physically assaulted.
Police said they also had responded to that address on "many occasions" before that day.
The Aug. 9 incidents led to the filing of charges against Steele-Knudslien, including assault on a family or household member, and assault and battery on a family or household member. Those charges were later dismissed.
Christa, a transgender woman, founded the Miss Trans New England Pageant in 2009 and is believed to be the first trans person in the U.S. to have died by violence in 2018.
A pretrial hearing in the case was scheduled for Dec. 10.
If convicted of first-degree murder, Steele-Knudslien faces life in prison.
Bob Dunn can be reached at email@example.com, at @BobDunn413 on Twitter and 413-496-6249.
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