WORCESTER MA Dec 14 2016 - An 80-year-old Amesbury man was arrested Tuesday on murder and armed robbery charges in the 1991 shooting death of an armored truck guard at a Lincoln Street supermarket.
Ralph DeMasi was taken into custody by Worcester police after a grand jury handed up secret indictments charging him with the May 18, 1991, armed robbery and murder of Edward P. Morlock Sr. of Athol in the foyer of Shaw's Supermarket at 490 Lincoln St., according to District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. The 52-year-old Mr. Morlock was shot multiple times as he was carrying money bags from Shaw's.
Mr. DeMasi is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday in Worcester Superior Court.
Mr. Morlock had worked for four years as an armed guard for Mass Transport Inc. in Marlboro. Police at the time termed the incident "well-planned" complete with a switch of cars and a knowledge of when the armored car made its pickup. The robbers fled the scene in a 1984 white Cadillac, police said at the time.
It is alleged that Mr. DeMasi and other suspects escaped the Worcester robbery and shooting in a waiting car, which was abandoned on Goldthwaite Road. The suspects then switched to a second vehicle, according to the district attorney.
Three other men believed to have taken part in the robbery have since died, Mr. Early said in news release.
Mr. DeMasi's arrest was the result of new information uncovered during an investigation by Worcester police, the FBI and the district attorney's office, according to the release.
"This was an example of great investigative work by Worcester Police, particularly the WPD Unresolved Homicide Unit, and a meticulous presentation to the grand jury by Assistant District Attorneys John Bradley and Terry McLaughlin," Mr. Early said, adding that he wanted to acknowledge the assistance of the state police and the FBI in the investigation.
"I have seen firsthand the hard work and dedication that has gone into this case," said Police Chief Steven M. Sargent.
"I am proud of the partnership we share with the office of District Attorney Joseph Early, the Massachusetts State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Hopefully, this arrest brings some measure of closure to the family of Edward Morlock," the chief said.
In 1992 Mr. DeMasi was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 24 years in prison in connection with a September 1991 attempted holdup of a Brink's armored truck in Newburyport.
In 2013 Mr. DeMasi testified at the trial of James "Whitey" Bulger. Mr. DeMasi said he was shot eight times during a 1973 shooting in Boston that killed another man.