PITTSFIELD -- The fourth man charged in the March 2010 stabbing death of Jahda Martin may be heading to trial in May, unless a plea deal can be reached in the case.
Trevor L. "Jamaican Jay" Pryce of North Adams appeared in Berkshire Superior Court Thursday with attorney Leonard H. Cohen for a final pre-trial conference.
Pryce is facing single counts of murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and witness intimidation for his alleged role in the stabbing of Martin, a 26-year-old Pittsfield man who had been a gifted high-school athlete.
Pryce was 28 at the time of the alleged attack.
Three other men are being tried jointly and are scheduled to go to trial in late April. John C. "Jay" Spratling, 28, of Pittsfield; Allen McGraw, 31, of Kingston, N.Y., and Terrance J. Brown, 27, of Springfield, are facing the same charges as Pryce. All four have pleaded not guilty.
Pryce had his case separated from the other defendants.
"There were certain evidentiary issues that wouldn't allow the cases to be tried together," Cohen told New England Newspapers on Thursday.
Berkshire Assistant District Attorney Gregory Barry told the court that Pryce will be tried after the other men, likely in mid- to late-May.
The first trial is scheduled to begin April 30 and last up to two weeks.
Cohen said he and the Berkshire District Attorney's Office are currently in negotiations concerning a plea deal. The other three defendants are as well.
Martin was stabbed to death March 6, 2010, in the Burger King parking lot across from the former Club Groove on Wendell Avenue Extension in Pittsfield. He was leaving the bar when he was attacked by several men, who then fled in cars, according to a police report.
Martin was taken to Berkshire Medical Center where he later died from his wounds.
No motive has been given in the alleged murder of Martin, who spent much of his youth in foster care before attending Lee High School, where he was a standout basketball player. He later left college without graduating and allegedly drifted into the drug trade.
A witness told police that Martin had been in an argument in the club earlier on the night of the stabbing but didn't know with whom or why.
The initial police report indicated that the incident may have been gang-related. Cohen said Thursday there isn't evidence that it was.
The case against a fifth person, Casey Ivery, of Pittsfield, remains pending. Ivery is charged as an accessory after the fact for allegedly cleaning out one of the getaway vehicles.