Former Bristol County District Attorney Ronald Pina died Thursday, April 2 at St. Luke's Hospital following a long illness. He was 75.

Pina was a 1962 graduate of New Bedford High School, Providence College in 1966, and Boston College Law School in 1969. He spent several years in private practice as a partner in the law firm of Xifaras, Pina, Lantz and Veary.

Pina was first elected to the Mass. House of Representatives in 1970 and served for eight years. In 1978 he was elected the first full-time District Attorney in Bristol County and served until 1990.

Pina's office was in the national spotlight often during his tenure, prosecuting high-profile cases like the Big Dan's Rape Case where four men were convicted, and the investigation into the New Bedford Highway Killings where the bodies of nine women were found along area roadways. The case remains unsolved.

In 1990, Pina was defeated by Paul Walsh Jr. in a bitter campaign. Pina then returned to private practice until his retirement in 2010.

Mayor Jon Mitchell issued a statement on the passing of the former District Attorney:

“I was saddened to learn of the passing yesterday of former Bristol County District Attorney Ron Pina.  Ron grew up in the city, and dedicated his professional life to the betterment of New Bedford and all of Bristol County.

As District Attorney, Ron’s office was known for its first-rate advocacy and its relentless pursuit of justice for the residents of Bristol County.

Ron’s effectiveness laid in part on his ability to attract talented, high-minded attorneys to serve under him, many of whom went on to distinguished careers in law and in public service.  I offer my condolences to Ron’s family during this difficult time.”

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