NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — The man charged in a cold case killing in New Bedford faced a judge Friday morning.
David Reed, 53, was indicted last year on a murder charge in the beating death of Rosemarie Moniz at her Acushnet Avenue home on March 23, 2001.
After pleading not guilty, he was held without bail and ordered not to have contact with any witnesses. Reed is due back in court March 17.
Moniz, 41, was found beaten to death, but investigators found no signs of forced entry into the home. She had been hit with multiple objects, including a conch shell, which proved to be a critical piece of evidence in solving the case.
Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn III previously told 12 News his investigators took a closer look at the shell in 2019 and theorized that whoever wielded the weapon would have put their hand inside of it.
Recent testing inside the shell revealed it contained Reed’s DNA.
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Reed is Moniz’s half-brother and served as a pallbearer at her funeral, according to her family.
Moniz’s brother, Fred Cunha, said knowing his half-brother is accused of his sister’s death is a bitter pill to swallow.
“The wake and the funeral, they were both pallbearers for my sisters. All the boys, the four boys and those two boys. He carried her casket,” he said. “I always told my mother and father we’re going to find out who it was. We’ll find out. I’m glad they’re not here to know because that would have killed them.”
In the courtroom, Reed didn’t look at the family once.
“He just kept his head down … That tells me volumes right there,” Cunha said. “If I was a different kind of person I would have jumped over that little wall they have there. It makes me sick.”
Reed has been held without bail since October after he was arraigned for an unrelated assault.
His arraignment on the murder charge was postponed twice last month because of COVID-19 concerns.
If convicted of the crime, Reed faces life in prison.