SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

May 10, 2013

Former Danvers selectman's trial set for June 26

BY JULIE MANGANIS
STAFF WRITER

---- — DANVERS — A now-former Danvers selectman charged with assaulting a Town Meeting member in September at Danvers Town Hall has opted not to pursue a motion to dismiss the charge prior to trial.

Instead, Keith Lucy’s attorney, Michael Smerczynski, asked a Salem District Court judge to schedule a trial for Lucy, during a hearing yesterday that had originally been slated to hear a dismissal motion.

Lucy, 48, who on Tuesday night lost a bid for re-election to the town’s Board of Selectmen, was accused of the assault after another election on Sept. 6.

Jack Fratus, who also lost his seat as a Town Meeting member Tuesday, alleges in a complaint filed in Salem District Court that during a heated exchange while looking at primary election returns, Lucy raised his hand toward Fratus as if about to strike him, putting him in fear.

Lucy denies the accusation.

A Salem assistant clerk-magistrate in October found probable cause for the charge to be issued against Lucy.

In March, Lucy and Smerczynski argued that Lucy did not have a chance to present his case adequately to the clerk-magistrate, since he had come to court without a lawyer or witnesses. They tried to persuade a judge to send the case back for another magistrate’s hearing.

Judge Matthew Machera denied the request but suggested that if they believe there was a lack of probable cause for the clerk to issue the complaint, they could file a motion to dismiss.

Smerczynski initially indicated that he would but later opted not to file that motion. Instead, he’ll make Lucy’s case directly to a jury when the case goes to trial on June 26.

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