North Adams man held after allegedly killing his wife

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NORTH ADAMS — A North Adams man is facing charges in the slaying of his wife, who was found dead Friday night in the couple's Veazie Street home, authorities said.

Mark Steele-Knudslien, 47, will be arraigned on a murder charge Monday morning in Northern Berkshire District Court, according to a statement released Saturday by the Berkshire District Attorney's Office. He is being held without bail, pending his arraignment.

Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien, 42, was found dead after police responded to a 9:20 p.m. call to investigate a homicide at 107 Veazie St., according to a North Adams Police log. State Police detectives were called to the scene about 25 minutes later; investigators remained on the scene throughout the night. 

Steele-Knudslien went to the Adams police station at about 9:09 p.m. Friday to admit that he killed his wife, according to Adams Police Sgt. Scott McWhirt.

Adams Police immediately notified North Adams Police to respond to the home, he said.

"As soon as we knew, they knew," McWhirt said, declining to comment on the details of the alleged confession.

Steele-Knudslien was held overnight at the Adams Police Department until he was taken to the Berkshire County Jail and House of Correction on Saturday, according to the sergeant.

The couple had lived in Adams for two or three years before moving to the city about a year ago, according to McWhirt.

The department was familiar with the couple from responding to their Adams home several times for "neighborhood" issues, he said.

The couple's current two-story home on Veazie Street, a residential road off River Street, sits atop a hill. 

A snowman sign was planted in the snow-covered lawn outside the home. 

Few lights were on in neighboring homes, and nobody was on the street Saturday evening, when the temperature was in the single digits with a dangerously cold windchill of minus 10 degrees to minus 40 degrees.

An autopsy will be conducted Sunday by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Holyoke, according to the statement, which didn't say how or when Steele-Knudslien is believed to have killed his wife. 

North Adams Police referred all questions related to the incident to the District Attorney's Office, which didn't return a message seeking comment Saturday. 

City police Sgt. Albert Zoito said the previous time his department responded to a homicide in North Adams was September 2013, when David Delratez fatally stabbed and beat his 84-year-old neighbor, Ellen DePaoli.

Delratez pleaded guilty to the killing in 2014 and was sentenced to life in prison. 

Haven Orecchio-Egresitz can be reached at horecchio@berkshireeagle.com, @HavenEagle on Twitter, and 413-770-6977.

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