80-year-old Whitey Bulger witness arraigned for 1991 murder and robbery

An 80-year-old Amesbury man and one-time witness in Whitey Bulger’s criminal case was arraigned Wednesday in connection with an armed robbery and murder in a cold case from 1991.

Ralph DeMasi, 80, was arrested Tuesday on armed robbery and murder charges stemming from a shooting death of an armored truck guard, Edward P. Morlock of Athol. He pleaded not guilty to the charges in court.

“It’s been a living hell not knowing who did it, day after day,” said Morlock’s widow, Jeannette Morlock, from her house in Athol. She was in court for the arraignment on Wednesday.

The incident took place on May 18, 1991 at a Shaw’s supermarket. Police said Morlock, who was 52 at the time, was shot several times while carrying bags of money out of the Shaw’s store.

DeMasi was arrested in Salisbury by Worcester Police following a grand jury indictment. He is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday in Worcester District Court. He previously served 21 years in prison for an attempted hold-up of a Brinks car in Newburyport, four months after Morlock was killed.

Police said DeMasi and other suspects escaped from the robbery in a waiting car, then switched to a different car to get away. Officials said three other men who were believed to have been involved have since died.

The District Attorney’s Office said the arrest is thanks to new information uncovered during investigations by Worcester Police, the FBI, and the DA’s office.

DeMasi is being held without bail and is due back in court early next year.