No bail for Northampton man accused of choking, kidnapping ex

Staff Writer
Published: 10/22/2020 2:48:58 PM

NORTHAMPTON — A Northampton man accused of choking and kidnapping his ex-girlfriend in May was deemed dangerous by a judge Wednesday and will continue to be held without bail.

Kevin J. McDonald, 48, appeared for a dangerousness hearing in Hampshire Superior Court after he was indicted by a grand jury on charges of kidnapping, assault and battery, strangulation or suffocation (subsequent offense) and witness intimidation. Judge Richard Carey ordered McDonald held without the right to bail for a period not to exceed 180 days.

McDonald’s lawyer, Alfred Chamberland of Easthampton, called two witnesses during the hearing who testified about the credibility of McDonald’s ex-girlfriend, who is the alleged victim and the person who originally called police. Assistant Northwestern District Attorney Erin Aiello argued that evidence corroborated the alleged victim’s account of events and that McDonald’s criminal history dating back to 1991 showed he is a danger.

Northampton police responded on the night of May 31 to Hampshire Heights at 241 Jackson St., where a woman told officers she had been choked by McDonald, her ex-boyfriend, according to court documents. The woman told police that McDonald had said he still loved her while they were both inside an apartment, but when she tried to leave, McDonald reportedly choked her.

The woman told police that at some point during the night, she was left alone with McDonald, who allegedly took his belt, wrapped it around her arms and had someone drive them to the Walter Salvo House at 81 Conz St., a subsidized city housing block for the elderly and disabled, where they arrived around 6 p.m. She told officers that McDonald took off her shoes to try to keep her to stay and forced her into his mother’s bedroom. McDonald also at one point allegedly hit the woman in the face with an open hand.

The woman told police that she made up a lie to get away from McDonald and escaped after walking down the stairs with McDonald’s mother. She met up with her husband and called police at around 10 p.m.

In court, Chamberland called McDonald’s mother to the stand. She testified that the alleged victim appeared calm and did not ask for help.

The mother testified that she had seen the alleged victim shooting heroin in the bathroom that night. At one point, McDonald left the alleged victim and his mother alone in the living room, where the mother testified they talked before McDonald came back and made them both food.

The second witness called by Chamberland, Paul Patel, a private investigator who owns MAP Investigations in South Hadley, said that he had been retained by McDonald’s last attorney to investigate the case. Patel testified that he had spoken to witnesses who had said the alleged victim that night did not seem to be in distress.

In court, Chamberland said that the case “boils down” to the credibility of the police report made by the alleged victim. He pointed out that she in the past had been found guilty of falsifying a police report.

Aiello pointed to video taken in the stairwell of the Walter Salvo House that she argued corroborated the alleged victim’s statement. She argued the woman’s statements were consistent throughout the investigation and that the defense’s witnesses had credibility issues.

In 2018, McDonald was sentenced to three years in state prison for punching another former girlfriend and stealing her wallet. McDonald was sentenced to three years in state prison in 2016 for suffocating his mother and assaulting another man with a knife. He is due back in court on Dec. 12.

Michael Connors can be reached at
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