Man convicted in 1988 murder of neighbor

FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — The man accused of killing a mother of three 27 years ago was found guilty of the crime.

After just a few hours of deliberations, the jury convicted Daniel Tavares of first-degree murder, according to a Tweet from the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office.

After a week and a half of testimony, lawyers for both sides made their closing arguments Monday.

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 claimed he made that admission in order to elevate his status in prison.

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

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