Documents: DNA key in Amanda Plasse murder case

Collection of photographs of Amanda Plasse

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) – Court documents in the 2011 stabbing death of Amanda Plasse show DNA evidence was key in the arrest of Dennis Rosa-Roman made two years later.

23-year-old Rosa-Roman was charged in November with the first-degree murder of 20-year-old Plasse in Chicopee. He has pleaded not guilty.

The documents say Plasse had been the victim of a break-in not long before her death, and had told her boyfriend she believed the burglar was a neighbor she had telephoned and planned to confront.

The documents don’t indicate why it took two years to make an arrest.

The investigator’s report said DNA from beneath Plasse’s fingernails was matched to a sample Rosa-Roman gave police when he was arrested. The report said he lived about four blocks from Plasse at the time she was killed.

The investigation drew controversy after a patrolman and a sergeant took cellphone photos at the crime scene and shared them with other officers. Then-Mayor Michael Bissonnette had ordered a review of police handling of the case.

It became an issue in the mayor’s race in which Bissonnette was defeated for re-election the same day Rosa-Roman was arrested.