HARTFORD (WWLP) – A Connecticut woman was sentenced to prison for failing to report to police information she knew about the murder of 28-year-old Francisco Roman Jr. of Chicopee, who was found dead in a burning car in Hartford in 2020.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Connecticut, 34-year-old Shamari Smith, also known as Dakota, of Manchester pleaded guilty in June to misprision of felony. On Friday, Smith was sentenced to two years and one month in prison followed by one year of supervised released. She will begin her prison sentencing on December 13.
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, including a Gucci hat, earrings, a necklace with an “F” pendant, and a PlayStation 5. Smith later learned the items were stolen in a robbery and the victim was murdered.
Smith posted videos on Snapchat wearing the stolen items and the next day, she was informed that Roman’s family members saw the videos and the items that belonged to him. Instead of reporting it to police, Smith got rid of the items by selling them.
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.
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