Man charged with abuse of corpse and conspiracy related to Delco musician’s body found in Mount Moriah Cemetery

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Philadelphia police have arrested and charged a 47-year-old Delaware County man in connection with the discovery last month in Mount Moriah Cemetery of the body of a Drexel Hill musician who they believe was killed in a building owned by the Warlocks Motorcycle Club.

Billy Gibson, a former boxer who fought under the name Billy Mastrangelo, was arraigned early Saturday on charges of conspiracy, hindering apprehension, and abuse of corpse, and related offenses. The body of Keith Palumbo, 36, was one of two found by police in a crypt in the closed cemetery on April 3.

Homicide Capt. Jason Smith said Monday that Palumbo, who went missing Feb. 6, was believed to have been shot inside a building on the 7000 block of Woodland Avenue in the Paschall section of Southwest Philadelphia. There was “blood inside that residence” on the first floor, he said.

Smith said the location is linked to the Warlocks. Property records for the two-story apartment building say it is owned by Warlocks MC LLC.

Philadelphia police also have issued an arrest warrant for Michael DeLuca, 38, previously of Drexel Hill, an alleged Warlocks member, on charges of murder, conspiracy, abuse of corpse, and related offenses in Palumbo’s death. DeLuca was staying in the first-floor apartment at the time of the shooting, sources said.

On April 2, the day before Palumbo’s body was found, DeLuca was arrested in Cheyenne, Wyo., where police detained him during a traffic stop after finding a loaded .40-caliber pistol under the driver’s seat of his black Cadillac. He was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and is in federal custody as he awaits hearings in the Wyoming case and extradition to face expected charges in Philadelphia.

Smith said the second body in the crypt is believed to be that of David Rossillo. He said police do not believe DeLuca is responsible for his death, the cause of which has not been determined. Relatives of Rossillo, who was from Drexel Hill, declined to comment last week when called by a reporter.

A relative of Palumbo’s has said that Palumbo knew DeLuca from childhood in Drexel Hill. Palumbo, a musician and tattoo artist, hung out with DeLuca and others, who were members of the Warlocks, but had no interest in becoming a member, the relative said.

Gibson, who public records indicate has lived in Drexel Hill and Philadelphia, was arrested Friday. His bail was set at $500,000 and he is in custody at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility. A spokesperson for the Defender Association of Philadelphia, which is listed as representing Gibson, declined to comment on his case Monday.

DeLuca had been paroled from a Pennsylvania state prison in May 2019 in the 2013 shooting of his then-girlfriend. He had been charged with attempted criminal homicide and related offenses, but pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and gun charges, and was sentenced to 5 to 10 years in prison plus five years’ probation.

A few weeks after his release, he was recommitted for six months because of parole violations for drug use and possession of a weapon, before being re-released toward the end of last year, according to state parole records.

Kevin Ryan, a private investigator hired by Palumbo’s family, said Monday of Gibson’s arrest: “It looks like justice is being served.”

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Julie Shaw
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inquirer.com




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