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Conviction upheld concerning Fall River man who killed woman and buried her in backyard



A former Fall River man’s appeal on a 1988 murder has been denied.

On December 4th, 2015, 49-year-old Daniel Tavares was convicted in the October 1988 cold case murder of 32-year-old Gayle Botelho in Fall River.

Tavares was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole.

According to court records, Tavares stabbed Botelho to death around October 27th. Her body was discovered 12 years later buried in the backyard of a home. Tavares, who was already serving life in prison for killing a young married couple in Washington State in 2007, had previously been released on manslaughter charges involving his mother’s death in 1991.

In the appeal, the defendant argued that because the Commonwealth based its entire case on the defendant’s 2012 confession, the trial was unfair because the 2012 confession was either truthful or untruthful in an effort to avoid being labeled a “rat” while serving sentences in prison.

The Court concluded that a rational jury could have found that the defendant was guilty of murder in the first degree on both the theories of premeditation and extreme atrocity or cruelty. In doing so, the Court concluded that there is no basis for reducing the defendant’s sentence or ordering a new trial which confirmed Botelho’s conviction.

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