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Suspect pleads not guilty in North Adams slaying

September 23, 2013

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. (AP) — A North Adams man charged with stabbing and beating his elderly neighbor to death, then stealing her car, was ordered held without bail at his arraignment Monday.

David Delratez, 41, pleaded not guilty in Northern Berkshire District Court to charges including murder and car theft in connection with the slaying last week of 84-year-old Ellen DePaoli.

DePaoli was found dead in her North Adams home Tuesday night by her son, who called police. Responding officers “observed a number of stab wounds to her body, as well as bruising and swelling to her face,” according to documents.

There was no evidence of forced entry or a struggle, police said.

Delratez lived nearby, was acquainted with the son and a frequent visitor to the DePaoli home, prosecutors said.

He was arrested Thursday in Bennington, Vt., where police say he was driving DePaoli’s car. He was traced there through cellphone use. He was arrested on a probation violation and waived his right to an extradition hearing in Vermont on Friday.

Delratez’s lawyer did not immediately respond to call on Monday. He is due back in court Oct. 1.

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