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North Adams Man Sentenced in Wife's Murder

Staff Reports

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A North Adams man was given a life sentence on Tuesday for murdering his wife three years ago.

Julie Burdick Shade died July 30, 2008, at Berkshire Medical Center from injuries she received at the hands of her husband, Eugene A. Shade II, eight days earlier at their Edgewood Avenue home in North Adams. Julie Shade was 22 years old and left behind two small children.

Eugene Shade, now 37, pleaded guilty in Berkshire Superior Court on Tuesday afternoon to single counts of murder in the second degree and assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon (knife).

Judge John J. Agostini ordered him to serve a life sentence at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction on the murder charge. He was given a concurrent two to three-year state prison sentence on the assault charge.

The couple had argued about separating, according to police reports, on July 22, 2008. Shade had attacked his wife with a pillow and with his hands, strangling her, and held a knife to her throat. He called 911 himself. Julie Shade died after eight days on life support.

The investigation was conducted by members of the North Adams Police Department and state police detectives assigned to the district attorney's office.  

The maximum sentence for second-degree murder is life, with eligibility for parole in 15 years.

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