CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – A Connecticut woman pleaded guilty this week to a charge connected to the kidnapping and murder of Francisco Roman of Chicopee, who was found dead in a burning car in Hartford.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Connecticut, 34-year-old Shamari Smith, also known as Dakota, of Manchester pleaded guilty Monday to misprision of felony, which carries a maximum imprisonment of three years.
According to court documents, on December 24, 2020, Calvin Robertson of Waterbury and Brandon Batiste of Springfield kidnapped Roman at gunpoint from his Chicopee apartment and threaten to harm him if he didn’t comply. They handcuffed him and stole cash, marijuana and other items. Roman was forced into the trunk of his own vehicle and taken to Connecticut.
Batiste allegedly shot Roman and killed him while they were driving to Hartford. The vehicle was left outside Shultas Place on the street. On December 26, 2020, Hartford Police found the vehicle fully on fire. Roman’s body was discovered inside with multiple gunshot wounds.
After the incident, Robertson drove to an apartment shared with Smith in Waterbury and stored the stolen items. Smith later learned the items were stolen in a robbery and the victim was murdered. Smith helped sell and get rid of the stolen items.
Robertson and Batiste were arrested in 2021. During an interview with federal law enforcement, Smith lied about her role in the selling of the property.
In April, Robertson pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit kidnapping and one count of causing the death of a person through the use of a firearm. Robertson has also pleaded guilty to manslaughter charges in three Springfield homicides. Batiste is still awaiting trial.