Northampton man pleads guilty, sentenced in alleged cover-up of 2018 murder

Pedro Soto-Rodriguez pleaded guilty in Hampshire Superior Court, Friday, to charges of accessory after the fact to murder and other charges in connection with the death of Daniel Cruz, 44, on March 10, 2018 in Northampton.

Soto-Rodriguez, 22, of Northampton, also pleaded guilty to  burning personal property, two counts of withholding evidence from a criminal proceeding, two counts of conspiracy, improper disposition of a human body and intimidation of a witness in connection with his 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.

Judge Richard Carey sentenced Soto-Rodriguez to a total of 7-8 years in state prison. The sentence will begin after he finishes two unrelated sentences that he is currently serving, which is estimated to occur in 2022.  

Soto-Rodriguez is one of nine people indicted by a grand jury for charges related to Cruz’s death and the alleged cover-up of his murder.  

Nerkin Omar Morales, 23, who has been charged with the murder of Cruz, is scheduled to be next in court, May 12, 2020, for a pre-trial hearing in the Hampshire Superior Court.

His case will go to trial first, with the remainder of the co-defendants to follow.