State files motion on recorded interview in former fugitive’s case


Staff Writer
Published: 1/26/2022 4:45:00 PM
Modified: 1/26/2022 4:43:42 PM

GREENFIELD — The state has two weeks to produce a recorded interview it wants to prohibit the defense from sharing as parties prepare for the possible trial of a former Western Massachusetts man apprehended in Florida in April 2021 — a month after being added to the Massachusetts State Police’s list of most-wanted fugitives.

Jeffrey Cancel-Muniz, 41, faces charges of strangulation or suffocation, kidnapping, rape and aggravated rape as the result of a sexual assault that allegedly occurred in Deerfield in May 2020. He is being held at the Franklin County House of Correction in Greenfield.

Assistant District Attorney Sandra Staub, who is prosecuting the case, asked Franklin County Superior Court Judge Michael Callan on Wednesday for a discovery protective order on a witness interview the Deerfield Police Department reportedly recorded at the house of correction. Staub argued the recording presents a security issue because it involves one of Cancel-Muniz’s fellow inmates.

Cancel-Muniz is represented by Isaac Mass, who filed a motion to have the court appointed legal counsel to advise a witness of his or her Fifth Amendment privileges. Callan said he would take this motion under advisement.

Parties are due back in court on Feb. 9 for a status update on the state’s discovery and to set further dates.

Cancel-Muniz, a Level 3 sex offender, was arrested in Florida after a hotel clerk recognized him from a poster released by the State Police’s Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section. Deputies with the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office responded to the Travelodge Suites by Wyndham Kissimmee Orange just after midnight after the lodging facility notified them that Cancel-Muniz was a guest there, according to a statement from Massachusetts State Police spokesperson David Procopio at the time. Deputies verified the warrants against Cancel-Muniz and arrested him as a fugitive from justice.

According to Procopio, troopers assigned to the Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section determined Cancel-Muniz had fled the state and they had followed up on several leads from across the country. On April 2, 2021, the troopers received a tip to their hotline (1-800-KAPTURE) that Cancel-Muniz might be in Kissimmee, Florida. Based on that tip, troopers and the U.S. Marshals Service worked to determine a specific location in Kissimmee. While that investigation was ongoing, the Travelodge Suites desk clerk had an issue with Cancel-Muniz, a guest at the hotel, and subsequently searched his name online.

According to Procopio, the hotel notified the authorities after internet search results included the Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section’s “Wanted” poster and other information about Cancel-Muniz that had been provided to news media outlets.

Cancel-Muniz, a native of Puerto Rico, has ties throughout Western Massachusetts and reportedly had been the subject of 11 civil restraining orders in Massachusetts and has multiple convictions for violating protection orders.

Reach Domenic Poli at: or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.


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