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Grand Jury Finds Wellington Ave. Shooter Acted In Self-Defense

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Grand Jury found on Tuesday that the accused murderer of Nikolas Carnute was acting in self-defense.

The Wellington Avenue shooting of the 23-year-old Carnute on December 4, 2011 resulted in the arrest of Kurt Hudson, 25, of Pittsfield. Hudson fled to South Carolina, where he was apprehended a few days later.

According to District Attorney David Capeless, after two days of testimony, the Grand Jury found that Carnute drew a gun on Hudson while Hudson sat in the driver's seat of a parked car. Hudson fired two shots out of the car window as he backed out of the Wellington Avenue driveway. One of those shots hit Carnute in the head. Carnute was transported to Berkshire Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Hudson then fled the scene and the gun Carnute used was not recovered because an associate of Carnute took it from the scene, according to Capeless.

The jury found no probable cause to charge Hudson with murder. However, he will be charged with felon in possession of a firearm, which carries a minimum three-year sentence and a maximum sentence of 15 years.

Additionally, Jamel Nicholson, 22, of Pittsfield was charged with interfering with a criminal investigation for providing misleading information to investigators.

Capeless said the police investigation was conducted properly and "persevered despite being hampered by witnesses that were variously reluctant, uncooperative, misleading and even obstructionists."

The murder shocked the Morningside neighborhood and the outrage triggered a neighborhood meeting on safety.
 
"We are once again reminded by this episode that the criminal culture that promotes the carrying of firearms only fosters increased violence and death, and, whether it threatens law-abiding citizens or criminal perpetrators, that violence will not be tolerated by those of us in law enforcement. We will diligently and fairly investigate these acts of senseless violence, and will endeavor to overcome any obstacles put in our path in order to determine the truth and to seek justice. Street justice is not justice, only violence by another name; the law of our Commonwealth is justice, and I will take all steps to see that it is fulfilled," Capeless said.
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