Suspect in 2018 Ashley Reservoir shooting to represent himself
PITTSFIELD — One of the four men charged in the August 2018 shooting that left a Cheshire man critically injured has chosen to represent himself at trial.
Kevin Nieves made that decision Monday afternoon in Berkshire Superior Court after Judge John Agostini denied his motion for a new attorney.
Nieves, 20, of Pittsfield, had filed a one-page motion seeking to have attorney Joseph Harty removed from the case. Agostini denied the motion, noting, from his review of the docket, Harty seemed to be very active in Nieves' defense, having filed several motions including one to have the charges dismissed. That motion was ultimately denied, however.
Nieves, Daquan Douglas, Luis Delvalle-Rodriguez and Christopher Frazier have pleaded not guilty to multiple charges in the Aug. 21, 2018, shooting of Nick Carnevale, including armed assault with intent to murder.
At Monday's hearing, Nieves was unable to provide many specifics about his dissatisfaction with Harty's assistance, except to say that he felt there were times he could have made "other arguments" in his motions. Nieves said that people in his family had also expressed to him their dissatisfaction.
"This is my life," Nieves said.
Agostini denied the motion for new counsel, noting there hadn't been anything presented that would be grounds to dismiss Harty. The judge also said the trial for Nieves and his co-defendants was set to begin in March. Dismissing Harty would mean bringing in a new attorney, which would delay the trial for up to a year and be an issue for the other defendants.
A few minutes later, Nieves again appeared before the court and stated his intention to represent himself at trial. After a series of questions to determine that Nieves was aware of the consequences of that decision, his request was granted.
Agostini appointed Harty to remain on as standby counsel, and Nieves can avail himself of Harty's services as much or as little as he likes.
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.
Bob Dunn can be reached at email@example.com, at @BobDunn413 on Twitter and 413-496-6249.
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