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North Adams Man Charged With Murdering Wife


Mark S. Steele-Knudslien and Christa Steele-Knudslien
Update Jan. 7, 2018: The North Adams woman killed on Friday was stabbed and bludgeoned to death, according to an autopsy conducted on Sunday afternoon. 
 
The preliminary results, according to Dr. Robert Welton, an associate medical examiner for the Office of the Chief Medical, indicate Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien died of loss of blood because of a stab wound to the torso; a contributing factor was multiple blunt-force trauma to the head.
 
Welton ruled the death a homicide.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A North Adams man has been charged with murder in connection with the death of his wife.

 
Mark S. Steele-Knudslien, 47, has been arrested and charged with one count of Murder. It is alleged that he killed his wife, 42-year-old Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien, whose body was found inside their Veazie Street North Adams home Friday evening.
 
An autopsy, to determine her cause of death, will be conducted at the Office of the Chief
Medical Examiner in Holyoke on Sunday.
 
Steele-Knudslien will be arraigned on the murder charge Monday morning in Northern Berkshire District Court. He is being held without the right to bail pending his arraignment.
 
The investigation is being conducted by State Police Detectives assigned to the District Attorney’s Office, members of the North Adams and Adams Police Departments and State Police Crime Scene Services Section.
 
Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien is originally from Rochester, Minn., according to information on one of her two Facebook pages. She was active in the trans community and had produced the Miss Trans New England pageant. The Steele-Knudsliens were apparently married last April.
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North Adams Woman Injured When Her SUV Hits House

Staff Reports
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A 47-year-old North Adams woman was taken to Berkshire Medical Center's Pittsfield campus after her sport utility vehicle slammed into a portico on Church Street. 
 
The accident occurred about 9:51 a.m. on Thursday morning during the snowstorm. The driver was coming down Pleasant Street when her 2003 Ford Expedition began sliding. She was unable to control the SUV as it slid down the steep hill, across Church Street and into 193 Church. 
 
"There was significant structural damage to the front porch and front entrance," said Sgt. James Burdick, but the building inspector determined the house itself was habitable. 
 
The Ford took out one of the two Doric columns holding up the roof over the portico and severely damaged the other one. There also appeared to be damage to the building leading into the entryway. 
 
Burdick said firefighters, police, building and wire inspectors and North Adams Ambulance Service responded to the scene. The driver incurred head injuries but no one else was injured. Church Street was closed for about 90 minutes until the scene was cleared. 
 
Despite the poor weather conditions, only a few accidents had occurred by early afternoon, including single-car accident on Curran Highway with no injuries and a more serious one on Old State Street near Dorans around 2, according to scanner reports.
 
Burdick encouraged motorists, that if they had to be out in the weather, to drive slowly, make sure they kept appropriate distances from vehicles in front of them, and had the correct tires for driving. 
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Collision With Utility Pole Closes Section of State Road

Staff Reports
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A section of State Road was closed down on Friday afternoon after a sport-utility vehicle took out a utility pole. 
 
The single-vehicle crash occurred at about 2:30 p.m. near George Avenue, just west of Stop & Shop. The late-model charcoal Honda Pilot was headed east when the driver apparently veered across the westbound lane and struck the pole, breaking it and sending the transformer and connected wires into Route 2. 
 
The driver was the only occupant of the Honda and was attended to by North Adams Ambulance personnel. The Honda incurred major damage to the front end and pieces of it were strewn across the road. It was taken from the scene by Cariddi Auto. 
 
Both lanes were closed and traffic detoured over Protection and Ashton avenues, causing significant backups both ways. The roadway was not expected to open for some time as National Grid was being called in to replace the pole and wires. 
 
North Adams Police and Fire responded. Police said the accident is under investigation. 
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No One Injured in North Adams Head-On Collision

Staff Reports
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A head-on collision on Thursday closed a section of Massachusetts Avenue for close to an hour. 
 
No one was hurt in the noontime accident but both vehicles had to be towed from scene.
 
The accident occurred near 1406 Mass Ave., near the Blackinton Honor Roll shortly after noon. A westbound red older model Ford Explorer crossed the center line into the path of an eastbound gray Dodge Caravan, knocking the van up onto the banking on the north side of the road. 
 
Lt. Jason Wood said driver of the Ford told police he had dropped his cup of coffee, distracting him as the van was approaching. The driver was cited for not having a driver's license.
 
Both vehicles incurred front-end damage on their passenger sides; the van's front end was crumpled. The Ford was removed by Mohawk Auto and the van by Dean's Towing. 
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North Adams Accident Closes Union Street

Staff Reports
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A motorist who lost conscious while driving on Union Street Friday morning was revived and taken by ambulance to the hospital. 
 
Police said the woman smashed into a guardrail on Beaver Street and then continued west onto Union Street, where her late model silver Camry sedan hopped the curbing and scraped against about 20 feet of guardrail before coming to a stop. 
 
The accident occurred just east of the Eclipse Mill, after the curve on Union Street past Gallup, around 11 a.m. The front passenger side of the vehicle was heavily damaged. 
 
The woman was alone in the vehicle and it's unknown if a medical condition caused her to pass out. The accident is under investigation. 
 
Union Street was closed between Gallup and Miner streets for nearly an hour; the Fire Department and Clarksburg Police also responded. Mohawk Auto took the car away. 
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