Grand jury indicts North Adams man on first-degree murder


PITTSFIELD -- A North Adams man who allegedly stabbed and beat to death an 84-year-old woman in her home has been indicted by a grand jury and is scheduled to be arraigned today in Berkshire Superior Court.

David Delratez, 41, of Walker Street, is accused of killing Ellen DePaoli in her home before fleeing in her car. DePaoli's body was discovered by police on Sept. 17 after they responded to a 911 call to her home at 409 Walker St. in North Adams and "immediately observed a number of stab wounds to her body, as well as bruising and swelling to her face," according to a police probable cause report. There were no signs of a break-in or of a struggle, said police.

Delratez was a friend of the woman's son and a frequent visitor to the DePaoli home.

He was arrested two days later at gunpoint by police in Bennington, Vt. Investigators said they recovered both the stolen car and the knife they believed was used in the killing.

Delratez denies the charges and allegedly told police he went to the house on the 17th after being called there by a drug dealer Delratez knew as "Jim Jim" and another man.

DePaoli already was wounded when he arrived, Delratez said.

He told police the two men then forced him to drive the woman's 2005 Ford Taurus sedan to Pittsfield and across the New York border to Albany and Troy. He said after two days of drinking he drove to Bennington and stayed with a friend.

Delratez is facing first-degree murder and larceny of a motor vehicle charges. He is additionally facing unrelated breaking and entering for a misdemeanor and use of a motor vehicle without authority charges. Police say the defendant broke into his ex-wife's home and used her car without her permission on Sept. 13.

He is being held without bail in Berkshire County Jail & House of Correction.

Attorney Nathaniel Green is representing Delratez.


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