Alleged gunman in Cruz case to be arraigned

  • court/crime Jason Morrison

Staff Writer
Published: 11/29/2018 11:50:21 PM

NORTHAMPTON — Nerkin Omar Morales, 22, of Northampton, is scheduled to be arraigned in Hampshire Superior Court on Wednesday at 10 a.m., on murder and other charges related to the March 10 killing of Daniel Cruz, 44, of Northampton.

Prosecutors allege that Cruz got into a confrontation with Pedro J. Soto-Rodriguez, 21, of Northampton at the Meadowbrook Apartments in Northampton. It is alleged that Morales intervened in the argument with a firearm, shooting Cruz three times and killing him.

Prosecutors allege that Soto-Rodriguez and Morales then enlisted the help of a group of other people to conceal the crime, taking Cruz’s body to a field in Hatfield that evening and setting it aflame.

Morales, Soto-Rodriguez and six other people were indicted on 51 charges on Monday related to Cruz’s killing. Two of those indicted are still at large.

Morales has been indicted on the following charges: murder, burning personal property, withholding evidence from criminal proceedings, two counts of conspiracy, improper disposition of a human body, intimidation of a witness, unlawful possession of a firearm as an armed career criminal, use of a firearm in a felony, and discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling.

Bera Dunau can be reached at

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