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Homeless Man Allegedly Stayed With Rutland Homicide Victim Before Fire

By Paul Burton, WBZ-TV
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WBZ-TV's Paul Burton (Photo: WBZ-TV) Paul Burton
Paul Burton is a general assignment reporter for WBZ-TV News. Burto...
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RUTLAND (CBS) – Dressed in all white, 35-year-old Amador Roman just shook his head and pleaded not guilty as the homeless man heard the charges read against him in court on Friday. “The defendant has a history in which he was homeless at the time offenses committed and had been housed at the home of the deceased,” Prosecutor Jeff Travers said.

Investigators says Roman stole the car that belonged to 53-year-old Diane Leader, the Rutland woman was found dead inside her Joanna Road home after a fire on Friday. On Monday the house remained empty except for a clean up crew.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones reports

In court prosecutors say, Diane Leader, who was a nurse, allowed Roman, who has a history of substance abuse problems, to stay at her house just days before her death. Roman is also charged with lying to investigators, but prosecutors have stopped short of linking him to Leader’s death.

“He intentionally misled investigators who were looking into the circumstances of her death,” said prosecutor Jeff Travers. “And then ultimately conceded that he had been in the company prior to Diane’s death.”

Investigators haven’t revealed the cause of Leader’s death or the fire, but police say Roman stole Leader’s 2004 Toyota Highlander. “Although he had given different accounts as to how he left, he ultimately conceded he left in the car she had been using,” Travers said.

Neighbors say Leader lived in the home since her messy divorce last February.

She was supposed to move out of the house on the day she died. Roman is due back in court on January 8th.

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