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Press Release

Massachusetts Woman Sentenced to 11 Years in Federal Prison for Role in Kidnapping and Murder

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut

Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that NATASHA GARCIA, 29, formerly of Chicopee, Massachusetts, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Omar A. Williams in Hartford to 132 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for offenses related to her role in the kidnapping and murder of a Massachusetts man in 2020.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on December 24, 2020, Garcia lured Francisco Roman, Jr. to her Chicopee apartment knowing that Brandon Batiste and Calvin Roberson were waiting for Roman, armed with firearms, and intended to kidnap, rob, and murder him.  When Roman arrived at the apartment, Batiste and Roberson confronted him, threatened to harm him if he did not comply with their orders, and handcuffed him.  Garcia left the apartment, and Batiste and Roberson stole cash, marijuana, and other items from Roman.  Batiste and Roberson forced Roman into the rear of Roman’s car and transported him and the stolen property to Connecticut.  Batiste shot and killed Roman while the car was en route to Hartford.  They then drove the car to Shultas Place in Hartford and left it parked on the street.

Batiste and Roberson then drove a separate car to an apartment that Roberson shared with Shamari Smith in Waterbury, and took most of the property stolen during the robbery into the apartment.

Shortly before 9 p.m. on December 26, 2020, Hartford police and fire personnel responded to Shultas Place and found Roman’s car engulfed in flames.  After the fire was extinguished, investigators discovered Roman’s body with multiple gunshot wounds in the rear of the vehicle.

On July 12, 2021, Garcia pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting a Hobbs Act robbery, and aiding and abetting the discharge of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.

Garcia, who had been released on bond since the date of her guilty plea, was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service at the conclusion of the sentencing proceeding.

Batiste and Roberson were arrested on February 11, 2021, and each pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit kidnaping, and causing the death of a person through the use of a firearm.  On December 20, 2023, Batiste was sentenced to 42 years of imprisonment and, on March 19, 2024, Roberson was sentenced to 29 years of imprisonment.

Smith, who lied to law enforcement about what she knew about the robbery, kidnapping, and murder, and her role in the disposal of the stolen property, pleaded guilty to misprision of a felony.  On October 13, 2023, she was sentenced to 25 months of imprisonment.

This investigation was conducted by the FBI’s Northern Connecticut Gang Task Force, FBI’s Springfield Gang Task Force, Massachusetts State Police, Hampden County (Mass.) District Attorney’s Office, Hartford Police Department’s Major Crimes Division, Chicopee Police Department and Springfield Police Department, with the assistance of the Waterbury Police Department and the FBI’s Atlanta Field Office.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Angel M. Krull and Trial Attorney Brian P. Leaming of the Justice Department’s Violent Crime and Racketeering Section.

Updated April 5, 2024

Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime