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Fourth Arrest In Months-Old New Bedford Homicide

Another arrest is made in connection with a November 2013 homicide in New Bedford.

Bristol County District Attorney Sam Sutter’s Office says 29-year-old Antonio Rodrigues, Jr. of Summer Street has been arrested and charged with firearm-armed assault with intent to murder and accessory to murder after the fact in connection with the murder of 31-year-old Sharone Stafford on November 23, 2013.

The D.A.’s Office says Rodrigues was arrested while police executed a drug-related search warrant at his Summer Street apartment, which turned up cocaine, cut baggies, a scale, and $3,500 in cash. As a result, Rodrigues also faces charges of resisting arrest, and possession with intent to distribute cocaine. He was ordered held on $60,000 bail until his next court appearance on April 23.

The chief suspect in the murder, 25-year-old Hailton DaCosta of Mosher Street was indicted last month on charges of murder, armed assault with intent to rob, and possession of an illegal firearm. He’s been ordered held without bail.

Two other men arrested by police days after the murder still have cases pending in New Bedford District Court.

Elito Mendes, 21, of County Street faces a charge of accessory to murder after the fact, carrying an illegal firearm, armed robbery, and obstruction of justice. Mendes has been ordered held on $150,000 bail.

27-year-old Samir Baptista of Norwell Street is also being held without bail, facing a charge of accessory to murder before the fact.

All four men face charges in connection with Stafford’s death. Stafford was found by police and rescue personnel around 11:45pm on November 23 in the area of Winsor and Crapo Streets. Stafford was found lying in the street. He was rushed to St. Luke’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead shortly after midnight on November 24.

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