Trial wrapping up for suspect in 1988 murder

FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — The trial of a man accused of killing a mother of three 27 years ago is coming to a close.

After laying out their arguments for the past week and a half, lawyers made their closing arguments Monday in the trial of Daniel Tavares.

Gayle Botelho lived across the street from Tavares in Fall River. Prosecutors say Tavares killed her in his bedroom because she owed him money for cocaine.

According to the prosecution, Tavares tried to shoot Botelho, but his gun jammed, so he then stabbed her several times in the back of the neck.

Botelho’s body was found in a shallow grave in Tavares’ backyard.

Prosecutors say Tavares admitted to killing Botelho alone. The defense believes he made that admission to upgrade his status in prison, arguing the facts of the case have stayed the same since the beginning and it’s not enough for a guilty verdict from the jury.

Tavares is already serving a life sentence in Washington State for killing a married couple there.

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