, Newburyport, MA

Local News

April 24, 2014

arrest in slay Case

Cummings a person of interest in murder investigation

NEWBURYPORT — Essex County prosecutors have charged Reginald Cummings, the Newburyport High School graduate considered a person of interest in the murder of an Amesbury man last November, with illegal disposal of a corpse and accessory after the fact.

In a further development, court documents confirm prosecutors’ belief that the victim, Dennis Ray Jackson, was dismembered in Salisbury on or about Nov. 12, and that police are still on the lookout for others who may be responsible.

Days after the alleged murder, Jackson’s charred remains were found in two locations — inside a barrel located on property owned by Bridgewater State Prison and behind a building in the Hyde Park section of Boston.

A day later, more than a dozen state, local and Boston law enforcement officials searched the Salisbury Beach apartment Cummings had rented in September and that Jackson had visited on many occasions. Police sources have told The Daily News that Jackson may have been killed in the apartment.

Cummings, 26, of Haverhill, was arraigned yesterday at Newburyport District Court on those two charges and ordered held without bail pending a pretrial hearing scheduled for May 22.

But Cummings may never see the Newburyport courtroom, as court documents show he is likely to be indicted in Salem Superior Court prior to that day. The most recent charges against Cummings were filed April 10.

His arraignment came just as he was set to be released after serving a sentence in a Middlesex County facility. Warrants for his arrest were issued on April 10, so instead of being released he was taken to Newburyport to answer for the new charges, according to Essex County District Attorney spokesman Steve O’Connell.

On the same day, Essex County prosecutor Maura Bailey successfully petitioned for the police report detailing the events leading to the raid to be impounded. In her motion, Bailey confirms that the new charges against Cummings concern: “an ongoing investigation of the murder of Dennis Jackson whose body was dismembered in Salisbury, Massachusetts on or about November 12, 2013.”

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