Police: Haverhill man killed when beaten in head with pipe; accused killer held for mental evaluation

Mike LaBella and Allison Corneau, The Eagle-Tribune, North Andover, Mass.
·7 min read

Mar. 12—HAVERHILL — Investigators said a man charged with beating another man to death Thursday did so by hitting him in the head with a pipe.

A prosecutor said police found a bloody pipe in the apartment of the man charged with the killing.

The prosecutor's comments came during the arraignment of Diecryk Garcia, 35, of 127 Winter St., Apt. 5, in Haverhill District Court Friday morning.

Garcia is charged with beating to death John Rosado, 34, of Haverhill, who investigators said was found Thursday afternoon lying on the sidewalk outside the Winter Street apartment building and bleeding profusely from head wounds. Investigators said Rosado did not live in the building. They have released no other information about him or what led to the killing.

Police said Rosado was taken to Lawrence General Hospital and then by helicopter to Boston Medical Center, where he died.

Police reports on file at the court about past incidents indicate Garcia has a violent criminal history and has shown evidence of mental problems. At Friday's arraignment, a judge ordered that Garcia undergo a mental evaluation.

The company that manages the building where he lives said it recently served him with an eviction notice.

Mental health questioned

Garcia was arraigned before Judge Cesar Archilla on one count of murder. The judge entered a not guilty plea on Garcia's behalf and appointed Ron Ranta as his defense lawyer. Police records in the murder case are impounded, court officials said.

During the court hearing, Ranta asked that Garcia not be arraigned.

"I don't believe he's competent at this time to understand the proceedings," Ranta said.

The judge did arraign Garcia, but also ordered that he undergo a mental health evaluation.

Assistant District Attorney Cal Skeirik asked that Garcia be held without bail "given the charge" against him. Skeirik identified the victim as Rosado.

Haverhill police responded to 127 Winter St. at 4:31 p.m. Thursday for an "altercation of some kind" between two men, said Carrie Kimball, spokeswoman for District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett's office.

The building at 127 Winter St. has several stories of apartments. It is at the southern edge of the inner-city Acre neighborhood.

During Friday's hearing, Skeirik outlined the case against Garcia, saying officers were dispatched to Winter Street for a well-being check and observed a man lying on the sidewalk.

Skeirik said the man was bleeding and had a large pool of blood around his head that appeared to be coming from significant wounds on his head.

"There were large lacerations to the side and top of his head," Skeirik said. "EMTs arrived simultaneously on scene with officers and began to render aid."

He said Rosado was transported to Lawrence General Hospital by Trinity Ambulance service.

Police find Garcia

"Officers observed a large trail of blood leading into the building," Skeirik said at the arraignment. "It led up a set of stairs to the second floor."

He said police found another large pool of blood on a second-floor landing and that officers saw bloody shoe prints leading to Apartment 5, which he identified as Garcia's apartment.

Skeirik said police encountered a man who was walking down the stairs from the second floor, and identified him as Garcia. Skeirik said it appeared to police that the man had blood on his pants and shoes.

Police detained Garcia, Skeirik said. He said officers spoke to several witnesses, including one of Garcia's neighbors, who told police that earlier she saw Garcia holding a pipe-like weightlifting bar which has was banging on the wall and floor. Skeirik said the witness described the entrance to Garcia's apartment as having a blue towel on the door.

Police said they confirmed it was Garcia's apartment and said they found blood on the door knob.

"The apartment was in disarray and they (police) did locate a shiny metal pipe that did appear to have fresh blood on it," Skeirik said.

Ranta told the judge that the defense had no objection to Garcia being held without bail, but requested that it be done without prejudice so Ranta has an opportunity to have a thorough conversation with his client.

Ranta also asked that the competency evaluation be limited to competency and not criminal responsibility, to which the judge responded he would note the request, along with the objection to having Garcia arraigned.

The judge scheduled a probable cause hearing for March 29.

Before the hearing, Attorney Daniel Hutchinson of Haverhill, on behalf of S&B Property Management company, owner of 127 Winter St., told The Eagle-Tribune that the company served Garcia with an "essential eviction" notice earlier this week. He said a notice of his kind is served due to criminal activity or the health and safety or welfare of other tenants.

"If you drive by his unit, you'll see broken windows in his unit and his (Garcia's) unit is on the corner," Hutchinson said. "You can find plenty of records on Mr. Garcia within the court system. He was served (the eviction notice) by a sheriff we hired very likely in the last few days, Monday or last weekend. As I understand it, he (Garcia) was not available last week because he was in a hospital somewhere. The owner tries real hard to keep good people in there. This guy has had (problems) and it's a matter of public record."

Court records detail Garcia's past

According to records on file at Haverhill District Court, on April 8, 2013, Garcia was charged with breaking and entering in the daytime for felony and malicious destruction of property over $250. Garcia pleaded guilty to the charges on Oct. 23, 2013, and was sentenced to one year in jail, the records show. He was credited with 198 days served and the balance of his sentence was suspended with the requirement that he be on probation. He was also ordered to submit to drug and alcohol screening.

According to a police report on that incident, police responded to a duplex on Primrose Street on a report of breaking and entering. The owner told police that one side of the duplex was vacant and that someone broke in there and damaged two doors, the police report said. A resident living on the other side of the duplex told police that Garcia had stopped by and was looking for a woman who formerly lived in the other half of the duplex, the report said.

The resident told police that Garcia was walking around the house yelling the woman's name and that Garcia seemed to be in some sort of "rage," according to the report. She also told police that Garcia punched a hole in a hallway wall and then entered the basement and kicked down a door, the report said. He was later ordered by a court to pay restitution of $1,420 for the damage he caused to the building.

The woman Garcia was looking for and who lived at a different address told police that Garcia had come to her apartment and that she told him to leave or else she would call police, according to the report. The woman told police she was afraid of Garcia and that she thought he was having a "psychotic episode," the report said.

Police said they obtained a warrant for Garcia's arrest on charges of breaking and entering.

Police said they subsequently received a call from a business on Washington Street that Garcia was there causing a disturbance.

Police said they responded to the business and arrested Garcia. Officer said that while they booked him at the police station, Garcia refused to answer questions or have his photo taken, and threatened to sue police.

Police said that after they placed Garcia in a cell, he began punching the cell door and cut the knuckle on his left hand.

On April 29, 2019, police charged Garcia with assault with a dangerous weapon. Court officials said that case was dismissed upon Garcia paying court fees and restitution. Details about that case were unavailable.