Great Barrington — The Glendale man charged with multiple offenses stemming from a deadly Easter weekend accident on East Street was formally arraigned Thursday (April 16) in Southern Berkshire District Court, with a pretrial hearing scheduled for May 21, according to a court official.
Kyle Bailey, 22, was present for the arraignment, having arrived in a wheelchair after being discharged from Baystate Medical Center, where he was taken after the April 4 accident that claimed the life of Garrett J. Norton, 21, of Housatonic, and seriously injured Matthew Moriarty. Bailey himself suffered multiple fractures and a dislocated hip, according to the police report.
Bailey’s hospital discharge was confirmed by attorney Jill Sheldon, who is assisting attorney Richard LeBlanc with Bailey’s defense. Sheldon said she was unable to further comment about the case.
Police say Bailey, a Keene State College journalism student, had been drinking on a Friday night out with friends Norton and Moriarty, and that Bailey told police he was driving Moriarty, 20, to his home in Great Barrington when the Subaru wagon he was driving hit a telephone pole at the end of a gradual left turn.
All three young men were recent graduates of Monument Mountain Regional High School, where they were friends, and the accident has rocked the larger Great Barrington community. The outpouring of grief and tributes to Norton continue.
Bailey was charged with Operating Under the Influence (OUI) Resulting in Motor Vehicle Homicide; Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle; Speeding; Failure to Stay Within Marked Lanes; Open Container of Alcohol in a Motor Vehicle; and OUI Causing Serious Injuries. He was given a bail amount of $4,000.
It is unclear, however, whether Bailey will continue to be charged with the misdemeanor version of OUI, according to the court official. “There are two legislatively created statues and versions of OUI,” he said, one misdemeanor and one felony, and that either can have the “same fact patterns.”
“It depends on how [Bailey] is charged,” he added.
The initial police report and court documents show the charges as misdemeanors, which have a minimum 30 days in the House of Corrections in Pittsfield and a maximum of 2 ½ years, said the official. District court cannot give sentences beyond 2 ½ years, making it possible, therefore, that Bailey could be arraigned and indicted in Superior court, which would be necessary if a higher sentence were desired.
The felony version of OUI requires a minimum sentence of three to four years; a sentence of more than 2 1/2 years must be served in state prison.
Saying it was pure speculation on his part, the court official said that this may be a situation in which “the victim’s family has a lot of sway” over the sentence. “They were friends, and the family may say, ‘we don’t want to ruin somebody else’s life, too’.”