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Man on Massachusetts Most Wanted list arraigned in murder of Bristol County man



A 36-year-old former Taunton man who fled the state shortly after the November 2022 homicide of Ross Copeland was arraigned yesterday in Taunton District Court on multiple charges connected to the killing, including Murder, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.

Jerome Fordham was arrested in Florida on July 19th, waived rendition the next day and was transported back to Massachusetts yesterday for arraignment in Taunton District Court. The defendant is charged with Murder, Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon, Carrying an Illegal Firearm and Assault and Battery by means of a Firearm.

On November 6, 2022, at approximately 1:38 a.m., Taunton Police received a 911 call reporting that a male, later identified as Ross Copeland, 38, of Raynham, was bleeding and needed an ambulance at the corner of Mason and Myrtle streets. First responders located Copeland, who was suffering from an apparent gunshot wound, and rushed him to Morton Hospital, where has later pronounced deceased.

After an extensive investigation by Homicide Unit prosecutors, State Police detectives assigned to DA Quinn’s office and Taunton Police detectives, an arrest warrant charging was issued in January 2023.

In mid-July of this year, a citizen in Tampa County, Florida saw a wanted poster for the defendant, which matched the identity of a man the citizen had seen living in a trailer park in that county. The citizen contacted local police in Florida, who then notified the US Marshalls about the tip. The defendant was taken into custody without incident at the trailer park on July 19.

The defendant pled not guilty and was ordered held without bail during his arraignment yesterday in Taunton District Court. Assistant District Attorney Cait Sauter is prosecuting the case.

“I am very pleased the defendant was apprehended in Florida through the cooperative efforts of a civilian and law enforcement agencies, including our state police unit, Taunton Police, the Massachusetts State Police VFAS Section, the US Marshalls and local police in Florida. I commend the civilian for being vigilant and promptly notifying the police,” District Attorney Quinn said.

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