FALL RIVER (WBSM) — A Tiverton, Rhode Island man who nearly stabbed another man to death in Fall River in what the District Attorney’s Office called “a premeditated vicious attack” has been sentenced to serve 16 to 18 years in state prison.

According to the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office, Chance Costa, 27, pleaded guilty in Fall River Superior Court to indictments charging him with armed assault with intent to murder, aggravated assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, malicious damage to a motor vehicle and assault and battery on a person over the age of 60.

The charges date back to the evening of September 26, 2021, when the 26-year-old male victim was helping a 27-year-old woman unload shopping items from her car and bring them up to the apartment.

Costa previously had a relationship with the woman and was waiting behind a car, armed with a knife. He ran at the victim and stabbed him multiple times in the torso, back, arm and neck. He then fled the scene, tossing the knife into the bushes.

The victim was taken to Rhode Island Hospital, having suffered what appeared to be 23 stab wounds, but the exact number is unknown. He underwent multiple surgeries to his stomach and arm, suffering a torn bicep that still limits his mobility in that arm to this day.

“The victim nearly died and lost a lot of weight during his hospitalization,” the D.A.’s Office said. “The victim, who was in very good physical shape prior to the attack, now gets winded after minor exercise and is constantly afraid for his safety.”

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“But for the sheer will to live by (the victim), this would not be a charge of armed assault with intent to murder. Instead, it would be a first-degree murder case under the theories of deliberate premeditation and extreme atrocity or cruelty,” the D.A.’s Office said. “The defendant planned his attack – he drove to the residence, parked his car, and laid in wait while armed with a knife. The victim was unarmed and was unaware of the defendant’s presence until it was too late.”

When Fall River Police were taking Costa into custody, he fled and pushed an elderly man to the ground, causing an injury to his head.

“This was a brutal and premeditated attempt to murder the victim, who easily could have died from multiple stab wounds inflicted by the defendant,” District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III said. “The court imposed a significant prison sentence, which was appropriate based on the egregious conduct of the defendant and the suffering and injuries sustained by the victim.”

Crime Rate Statistics in Southcoast Towns

Here are the current crime rate statistics for these Southcoast Communities.

Annual data is from the Massachusetts Crime Statistics. The number of crimes is a data collection of total arrests, DUI/OUI charges, violent crimes, and hate crimes.

The clearance rate is the number of charged crimes divided by the total number of crimes recorded.

We listed the SouthCoast towns alphabetically.

Gallery Credit: Ariel Dorsey

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