SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) - Court documents in the 2011 stabbing death of a Chicopee woman show DNA evidence was key to an arrest made two years later, the Springfield Republican reports.
The state police investigator's report was made public in district court Tuesday after the newspaper's successful challenge to prosecutors' efforts to impound it last fall.
Dennis Rosa-Roman, 23, was charged in November with the first-degree murder of 20-year-old Amanda Plasse in Chicopee. He has pleaded not guilty.
The Republican reported the documents, redacted to exclude some witnesses' names and statements by Rosa-Roman, say Plasse had been the victim of a break-in not long before her death, and had told her boyfriend she believed the burglar was a neighbor she had telephoned and planned to confront.
The documents don't indicate why it took two years to make an arrest.
The investigator's report said DNA from beneath Plasse's fingernails was matched to a sample Rosa-Roman gave police when he was arrested. The report said he lived about four blocks from Plasse at the time she was killed.
The investigation drew controversy after a patrolman and a sergeant took cellphone photos at the crime scene and shared them with other officers. Then-Mayor Michael Bissonnette had ordered a review of police handling of the case.
It became an issue in the mayor's race in which Bissonnette was defeated for re-election the same day Rosa-Roman was arrested.