SALEM (CBS) — The man accused of strangling his girlfriend to death was in court Friday, flown in from California where police finally found him.

Emilio DeLarosa was arraigned for murder and for violating a restraining order to stay away from the victim, Wanda Rosa.

methuen suspect delarosa Man Accused Of Killing His Girlfriend Last Year Arraigned Friday

Methuen suspect Emilio DeLarosa. (WBZ-TV)

Wanda Rosa’s brother wore a T-shirt with a blown-up picture of her face across the front when he faced her alleged killer in court. Officers had to stop another man from making obscene gestures with his finger.

victim t shirt Man Accused Of Killing His Girlfriend Last Year Arraigned Friday

Wanda Rosa’s brother in a t-shirt with his sister’s picture on it. (WBZ-TV)

It was a moment her family has had a full year to prepare for. Last week, her mother told WBZ she wanted to see Emilio DeLarosa’s face. “He has to be reminded what he did,” she said.

So when he finally appeared in Salem Superior Court for his arraignment, they glared at him. It was hours after he had landed at Logan Airport in Boston from the West Coast, where U.S. Marshals found him living and working under a fake name.

“He fled immediately following the murder,” said prosecutor Kate MacDougall. “Despite constant efforts by the state fugitive unit to locate him, he was only located last week in California.”

Prosecutors say DeLarosa strangled Rosa, his on-again-off-again girlfriend, in her Methuen apartment in front of their toddler son September 12, 2016.

Court records show a history of abuse over many years, including an active restraining order she had taken out against him. DeLarosa had already served a prison sentence for assaulting her, and was still on probation for that on the day of the murder.

DeLarosa is being held without bail. He faces a first degree murder charge and violation of an abuse prevention order.

The family had no comment after the court hearing.


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