NORTHAMPTON, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- A Hampshire County man has pleaded guilty to charges related to a 2018 murder.

Mary Carey, spokesperson for the Northwestern District Attorney's office, said that 22-year-old Pedro Soto-Rodriguez of Northampton pleaded guily on Friday to charges including

  • Accessory after the fact to murder
  • Burning personal property
  • Withholding evidence from a criminal proceeding (two counts)
  • Conspiracy (two counts)
  • Improper disposion of a human body
  • Intimidation of a witness

Soto-Rodriguez was arrested as part of the investigation into the March 2018 murder of Daniel Cruz of Northampton.  Cruz's body was found burned in a field in Hatfield on March 10, 2018.

The charges, Carey explained, are "in connection with [Soto-Rodriguez's] efforts to conceal and dispose of Cruz’s body, to clean evidence from the crime scene, and to intimidate a key witness from coming forward to the police."

Soto-Rodriguez was sentenced to seven to eight years in state prison, which will be served after he finishes two other unrelated sentences he is serving, which is estimated to happen in 2022.

In total, nine people were indicted in connection with Cruz's murder and the alleged cover-up.

Nerkin Omar Morales, 23, is scheduled to appear in court on May 12 for a pre-trial hearing on a murder charge in relation to Cruz's death.

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