Windham kidnap witness defies order, to remain in county jail
BRENTWOOD — A material witness in a Windham kidnapping case defied a judge’s order to answer questions from county prosecutors during a deposition Friday, thus ensuring his continued imprisonment in county jail for contempt of court.
Matthew Nugent of Billerica, Mass., refused to comply with an order by Judge Marguerite Wageling to participate in the court-ordered deposition after spending roughly 78 days in county jail.
Wageling, who attended the deposition, said in an order made available Wednesday that Nugent would continue to be held in contempt of court until he decides to offer truthful testimony in the trial of Luis Carvalho, 33, of Taunton, Mass.
Carvalho recently had his trial for kidnapping and burglary rescheduled for the week of Nov. 18 in Rockingham County Superior Court.
Carvalho is accused of storming a home in Windham April 15, 2012, with another man and restraining Samantha Gervais, 20, before fleeing from Windham police.
Public defenders say the home was owned by Michael Napier, who is facing drug charges in U.S. District Court in Boston.
Nugent’s latest court appearance came Thursday when he appeared with his lawyer, Chuck Keefe, asking to be freed after spending nearly two months behind bars. Keefe argued that the jail stint violated his client’s constitutional rights.
At a separate hearing Thursday, Carvalho was released on $10,000 cash bail as he awaits trial.
He spent more than two years behind bars awaiting trial.
Wageling said during a hearing Thursday that Nugent’s freedom hinges on his obeying her order to testify truthfully at Carvalho’s trial.
“Mr. Nugent holds the keys of the jail cell in his hand. He is punishing himself,” Wageling said. “He will get out of jail when he testifies.”
Nugent has contended that despite being given an immunity agreement in New Hampshire, his statements could be used against him in Massachusetts.
Prosecutors said Carvalho had a firearm belonging to Nugent on the night of the home invasion.
Nugent reported to police in the Bay State that his firearms were stolen and was later charged for making the report, according to published reports. Those charges were later dropped.