FALL RIVER — A 36-year-old former New Bedford man was convicted Friday afternoon during a re-trial of a 2001 homicide case.

Robert Tirado was convicted of voluntary manslaughter, and sentenced to serve 20 years in state prison for the killing of George Carpenter.

On February 16, 2001, in the early morning while on Bluefield Street in New Bedford, the defendant engaged George Carpenter in a fight, stabbed his tire preventing him from leaving and called others to help him. The defendant and his confederates kicked, stomped and struck the victim with a tire iron. The victim rushed to St. Luke’s Hospital and then transported to Boston Medical Center where he died. The cause of death was intra-abdominal hemorrhaging.

After being initially convicted of second degree murder more than a decade ago, the defendant filed a motion for new trial in 2016. In his motion, he claimed ineffective assistance of counsel at his original trial because his defense attorney at the time did not object to the use of a substitute medical examiner at trial. The motion was allowed by Judge E. Susan Garsh, setting up this new trial.

During the six-day trial in Fall River Superior Court this month, Co-First Assistant District Attorney was able to call upon two of the original four eyewitnesses to the incident.

The sentence was handed down by Judge Thomas McGuire.

“I would like to thank the jury for once again for finding the defendant responsible in the death of George Carpenter. This has been an especially difficult ordeal for the family. They have had to endure almost 17 years of court proceedings. I thank them for their dignity and patience they exhibited throughout this process,” District Attorney Quinn said. “I hope this verdict brings them some closure.”

--Bristol County District Attorney's Office