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Local News

June 27, 2013

Ex-selectman accepts continuance in assault case

DANVERS — A now-former Danvers selectman charged with assaulting a man inside Danvers Town Hall last year avoided a trial yesterday.

Instead, prosecutors offered, and Keith Lucy accepted, a general continuance of the case for three months. If Lucy, 47, of Danvers, stays out of further trouble for the next 90 days, the charge will be dismissed.

Salem District Court Judge Michael Lauranzano accepted the agreement yesterday.

The terms of a general continuance require no admission of any wrongdoing by a defendant.

The resolution came as both sides were prepared yesterday to go to trial on the case, which started out as a civilian-signed complaint filed by Jack Fratus, a now-former Town Meeting member.

Fratus, 74, accused Lucy of waving his hand toward him as if about to strike him, after he confronted Lucy for yelling at his wife, who had spoken up when she saw Lucy push his way to the front of a group of people looking at primary election results.

A clerk-magistrate found probable cause for the assault complaint, a misdemeanor, to be issued. Lucy and his attorney, Michael Smerczynski, tried to have a judge send the case back to the magistrate for reconsideration after identifying witnesses to the incident, but they were unsuccessful in that effort.

Smerczynski said outside court that he had sent summonses to eight potential witnesses for yesterday’s aborted trial, and was ready to go forward, when the agreement was reached.

Prosecutors had also indicated to the court that they were ready to try the case.

Lucy, while standing outside the courtroom with his attorney, had no comment on the outcome of the case.

Fratus, reached for comment yesterday, said he was satisfied with the outcome of the case, noting his concern for the effect of a trial on Lucy’s family.

Lucy, who was first elected in 2004, lost his seat on the Board of Selectmen this spring, while the charge was pending.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.

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