David Delratez at his arraignment last year after being apprehended in Bennington, Vt. Delratez was sentenced to life imprisonment on Tuesday.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — David A. Delratez has been sentenced to life imprisonment after pleading guilty to last year's murder of 84-year-old Ellen DePaoli in North Adams.
Delratez, of North Adams, pleaded guilty in Berkshire Superior Court on Tuesday afternoon to murder in the second degree and to several other charges.
He was apprehended only days after the discovery of DePaoli's body in her Walker Street home on the evening of Sept. 17, 2013.
Delratez, 42, who had known DePaoli for years, had initially claimed he had gone to visit her when one or more men had forced their way into her home, struck and killed her, and made him drive them away.
DePaoli was well-liked in the community and had been the cafeteria manager at Drury High School for many years.
On Tuesday, he pleaded guilty to single counts of murder in the second degree and larceny of a motor vehicle in connection with DePaoli's murder. He also pleaded guilty to single counts of breaking and entering with intent to commit a misdemeanor and malicious destruction of property less than $250, related to an incident in Clarksburg on Sept. 13, 2013.
Judge John J. Agostini ordered that Delratez serve a life sentence at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction on the murder charge.
He was given a concurrent three to four-year state prison sentence on the larceny charge and concurrent House of Correction sentences on the other charges.
However, he is eligible for parole after serving 15 years, according to the district attorney's office.
The investigation was conducted by the North Adams Police Department, state police detectives assigned to the district attorney's office, officers from the Pittsfield Police Department and deputies from the Berkshire County sheriff's department, and members of the Berkshire County Law Enforcement Task Force.