Three charged with lying to a grand jury in investigation of Daniel Cruz’s death

  • Stock gavel in court

  • A 44-year-old Northampton man identified as Daniel Cruz was the body found burning in a field off Bridge Lane in Hatfield, pictured here, on March 10, 2018. Gazette file photo

Friday, June 29, 2018

NORTHAMPTON — Three more people have been charged with lying to a grand jury in connection to the death of Daniel Cruz, whose body was found in Hatfield in early March.

Florence man Luis Felipe Dellarosa, Springfield woman Kimberly Perez and Chicopee man Diafuka M. Kayamba all pleaded not guilty Thursday in Hampshire Superior Court to perjury.

Cruz’s body was found when Hatfield firefighters were called to a field off Bridge Lane for a reported fire at around 9:30 p.m. March 10. According to his death certificate, Cruz, 44, of Northampton, died from gunshot wounds to the torso and neck. “Thermal injuries” were listed as contributing factors, but did not cause his death.

His death is being investigated as a homicide by the state police detectives unit of the Northwestern district attorney’s office.

Represented by attorney Torin Bagamary, Dellarosa was ordered held on $10,000 bail. He is alleged to have given false testimony “regarding his knowledge and personal involvement in the circumstances leading to the death of Mr. Cruz as well as the events of the date of Mr. Cruz’s death,” according to court documents.

Shortly after Cruz’s death, Dellarosa allegedly changed his phone number, took steps to deactivate his Facebook account and told his family he was leaving town to an unspecified location, according to court documents. Dellarosa is also alleged to have boarded a bus to Jacksonville, North Carolina, where he remained for over a month, according to court documents.

Represented by attorney Susan L. Miles, Perez was held on $5,000 bail. Perez allegedly gave false testimony regarding her whereabouts on the date of Cruz’s death as well as her involvement in the concealment of the crime, according to court documents.

Perez also has a history of leaving the state to avoid criminal charges — in late 2015 she left the state while on probation following a drug conviction and jail sentence and lived in North Carolina for approximately two years before returning to Massachusetts, according to court documents. She remains on probation in Hampden Superior Court.

Represented by attorney Marlene Morin, Kayamba posted $1,000 bail and was released Thursday afternoon. Kayamba allegedly provided false testimony regarding his own whereabouts on the date of Cruz’s death as well as the whereabouts of others, according to court documents.

All three are scheduled to appear in court on July 11 for clarification of counsel hearings as their attorneys were only appointed Thursday to represent them for bail hearings.

Two Northampton women were charged in connection to the case in May. Mercedes Diaz-Wright, 22, pleaded not guilty in May in Hampshire Superior Court to misleading a police officer. Her bail was originally set at $10,000 but was later reduced to $3,500, which she was able to post. Alondra E. Gil, 22, has also been charged in the case and pleaded not guilty to perjury. Her bail was set at $3,500.

Emily Cutts can be reached at ecutts@gazettenet.com.