Tom’s Top 3 for 1/23: Man Accused Of Killing Wife Indicted By Grand Jury
The man who allegedly bludgeoned and stabbed his wife to death in North Adams following an argument on January 5th has been indicted by a Berkshire grand jury on one count of murder. The Berkshire Eagle reports that 47 year old Mark Steele-Knudslien entered a plea of not guilty at his arraignment in Berkshire Superior Court on Monday. The North Adams man continues to be held without the right to bail and is due back in court on July 24th for what will be a pretrial hearing. Steele-Knudslien, according to police and court documents, went to the Adams Police Department and told them that he killed his wife, 42 year old Christa Steele-Knudslien, by striking her in the head multiple times with a hammer and stabbing her in the back with a butcher knife. Christa, a transgender woman is believed to be the first Trans person in the U.S. to have died by violence in 2018. If convicted on a charge of first-degree murder, Steele-Knudslien could get life in prison without the possibility of parole.
More Details In Attempted Assault Of A Woman In Great Barrington
The man accused in a January 7th attempted sexual assault in Great Barrington allegedly told his victim after grabbing her arm in the parking lot of a town convenience store “...this is gonna be rape.” The Berkshire Eagle reports that the woman, who just finished working at the Lipton Mart on Stockbridge Road, was able to pull away from the man. She also managed to take a photo of his truck as he drove off, according to Great Barrington Police. 34 year old Andrew Gombar, of Chatham, N.Y., was arrested two days later in New York, where he is being held pending his return to Massachusetts to face charges. Details of the attempted assault were revealed in a police report obtained by The Eagle. The store’s surveillance camera footage corroborates the accounts given by the woman and the store manager.
$50 Million Defamation Suit Against The Eagle Being Weighed By Judge
A judge is weighing whether to dismiss a $50 million dollar defamation lawsuit against The Berkshire Eagle, its publisher and one of its reporters. The suit was filed by former Pittsfield City Council candidate Craig Gaetani. The Berkshire Eagle reports that Judge John Agostini heard arguments in Berkshire Superior Court yesterday from Gaetani and attorney David Valicenti regarding the newspapers motion to dismiss the suit. The 69 year old Gaetani, of Pittsfield, claims that information published in an October article, which covered a candidates' forum he participated in, defamed him and was likely what cost him the election. Judge Agostini said he is taking the matter under advisement and would render a decision as soon as possible.