The fall sitting of Dukes County superior court begins next week at the Edgartown courthouse, with several criminal and civil trials on the preliminary docket. Criminal cases currently scheduled for trial include that of a Vineyard Haven man charged with rape. The Hon. Cornelius J. Moriarty 2nd, an associate justice of the superior court, will preside over the monthlong session.
The jury trial of David L. Thrift Jr. is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, Oct. 2. Mr. Thrift is facing 14 charges stemming from a July 2011 incident in Vineyard Haven when he allegedly raped a minor. He was indicted on additional charges last spring after allegedly offering someone at the Edgartown house of correction money to kill a district attorney and the minor victim.
The original charges against Mr. Thrift, 31, stem from July 2011, when he allegedly assaulted his wife and then fled his Vineyard Haven house, later returning and raping a 15-year-old female visitor at knifepoint.
Mr. Thrift is being held at the Barnstable County Correctional Facility. Last fall he was indicted by a grand jury on charges of rape of a child by force, aggravated rape, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault with a dangerous weapon, violating an abuse prevention order, two counts of intimidation of a witness, and three counts of assault and battery.
In the spring, he was indicted on further charges of rape of a child during commission of certain crimes and aggravated rape of a child, and then two counts of solicitation to commit a felony (common law).
Mr. Thrift will be represented by Robert Hoffman. The prosecutor is Kate B. MacDougall, an Essex County assistant district attorney.
A jury trial is scheduled for Oct. 9 for Stanley J. Johnson, 52, of Oak Bluffs, who is charged with unarmed burglary, breaking and entering in the nighttime for felony, and larceny more than $250. In March 2011, Mr. Johnson, along with another man, allegedly stole a safe containing $85,000 from an Oak Bluffs man.
Trials for two men arrested in October 2011 for allegedly robbing an Edgartown man of money and marijuana and then threatening him with a knife are set for Oct. 22. Brian D. Gromoshak, 32, of Oak Bluffs is charged with armed robbery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, armed breaking and entering in the daytime for felony, larceny more than $250, two counts of intimidating of a witness, and distributing class D drugs.
His co-defendent, Demetrio Garcia, 20, of West Tisbury, is charged with armed robbery, assault with a dangerous weapon, breaking and entering in the daytime for felony, and larceny more than $250.
Superior court sessions usually take place twice a year, in the spring and in the fall.