EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

January 25, 2013

Police think intimidation suspect is hiding in city

By Jill Harmacinski

---- — LAWRENCE – Police believe a third city man wanted in a witness intimidation scheme in a recent murder trial is still at-large and being helped and hidden by others.

Poilce yesterday released a photo of Rafael Rodriguez, 22, of 28 Juniper St., #1, Lawrence.

Rodriguez is a third person wanted for intidimating a witness in the murder trial of Jose Ruiz at Lawrence Superior Court. Police Chief John Romero said there have been sightings of Rodriguez in the city. They also believe he is being helped and hidden by someone who could additionally face criminal charges for harboring a fugitive.

Jose Davilla, 25, of 13 Cedar St., and Ronney Moreno, 30, of 337/339 South Broadway, were already charged with witness intimidation.

Police said all three men posted pictures of two witnesses in the murder trial of Ruiz, who was convicted of murder last Monday and sentenced to life with the possibility of parole for the 2009 killing of Rolando Fuentes, 33, of Methuen.

Ruiz was also convicted of carrying a firearm without a license and sentenced to four to five years, to be served concurrently.

At least two pictures of key murder trial witnesses were posted on the popular photo-sharing website Instagram, with text calling them snitches. One witness was in fear for his life and had heard from friends that retribution was being planned, according to court affadavits.

Anyone with information about Rodriguez’s whereabouts is urged to call Lawrence police at (978) 794-5900. The identity of callers and witnesses will be kept confidential, Romero said.

Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter under the screenname EagleTribJill.