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New Bedford man convicted of killing Fall River’s Joseph Tavares in Dartmouth



Joseph Tavares

After a two-week trial in Fall River Superior Court, Robert Rose was convicted by a jury of his peers late Thursday afternoon of the First-Degree Murder of Fall River’s Joseph Tavares, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.

According to Gregg Miliote of the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office, the 52-year-old former New Bedford resident was also convicted of carrying an illegal firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition and possession of an illegal firearm with a defaced serial number during a felony. He was sentenced by Judge Thomas McGuire to life in prison with no possibility of parole.

The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney William McCauley and Assistant District Attorney Matthew Lopes.

Rose was charged with shooting and killing the 37-year-old Tavares on December 22, 2018, outside the Regency Hotel on Faunce Corner Road in Dartmouth.

On that night, Rose approached the victim’s vehicle for a planned meeting with him. Within minutes of getting into the passenger seat of the victim’s vehicle, Rose is accused of firing three shots, striking the victim in the head and the neck. After exiting the vehicle, Rose is accused of shooting the victim again in the left cheek. The two men knew each other through drug dealing, with Rose frequently purchasing from the victim.

At around 10:34 p.m. on December 22, Dartmouth Police received a 911 call from the night manager at the hotel. The night manager reported to police that a man was bleeding heavily inside a car in the hotel’s rear parking lot.

When first responders arrived minutes later, they found the victim sitting unresponsive in the driver’s seat of the vehicle. Tavares was suffering from apparent gunshot wounds and was rushed to St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford, where he was pronounced dead at 11:07 p.m.

The motive for the killing was robbery, according to the DA.

“I am very pleased that the jury held the defendant accountable for the senseless and violent death of the victim, which was connected to drugs. I want to thank the prosecution team for their efforts in putting together a very strong case against the defendant. I also want to thank the victim’s family for their patience and perseverance while the case was pending. Justice has been served in this case,” District Attorney Quinn said.

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