SALEM, Massachusetts — A Salisbury man charged for his alleged role in the dismemberment and distribution of another man's body parts has been held on $500,000 bail after pleading not guilty.
Reginald Cummings was arraigned Monday in Salem Superior Court on charges of disinterring a body and being an accessory after the fact.
Cummings, 27, remains a person of interest in last November's presumed slaying of Dennis Ray Jackson, a man who had been staying with Cummings in a Salisbury condo before his disappearance, prosecutors told The Newburyport Daily News (http://bit.ly/1oO0Zln ), but they have been unable to conclusively link Cummings to Jackson's death, only to the discovery of body parts.
Jackson's body parts were found burning in Bridgewater and in Boston's Hyde Park neighborhood.
During the search for Jackson, Cummings at one point answered Jackson's phone, prosecutors said. He later offered a "variety of excuses" why Jackson couldn't come to the phone. Hours later, on the evening of Nov. 13, a leg and hands were found burning in a field near Bridgewater State Hospital. One hand still had visible fingerprints, which were used to identify it as Jackson's, said the prosecutor.
In January, a head was found in the Charles River. Prosecutor Jean Curran said that the head was Jackson's. His leg was also found in the Charles in May, said the prosecutor.
Cummings allegedly fled to Mexico via San Diego.
Defense lawyer Ed Hayden argued for lower bail, saying Cummings, a father of four, has ties to Massachusetts and is not a flight risk. That assertion prompted the judge to interrupt. "Didn't he go to Mexico?"
Hayden argued that there were no charges filed against Cummings when he left.
Hayden acknowledged, "I wish he hadn't gone to San Diego, but a lot of other people go to San Diego."