New Bedford Conch Shell Murder Suspect Sentenced for Tire Iron Attack
NEW BEDFORD — A SouthCoast man suspected of murdering his half-sister with a conch shell and other objects inside her New Bedford home in 2001 has been sentenced for a separate attack on another New Bedford woman.
David Reed, 54, pleaded guilty on Friday to robbing and bludgeoning Maribel Martinez-Alegria with a tire iron in New Bedford in June 2003, then leaving her bleeding in an alley when she pretended to be dead, according to the Bristol D.A.'s office.
He had been charged with armed assault with intent to murder, armed robbery, and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and was sentenced to eight to 12 years in state prison for the attack.
According to the D.A.'s office, a man living near the Oceanside Plaza heard the victim screaming for help, and opened his door to find her covered in blood.
She had pretended to be dead in order to get Reed to leave the area after he took her to a secluded area, beat her, took her pocketbook, and pushed her out of the car.
Martinez-Alegria later saw Reed again in July 2003, when he circled her Durfee Street neighborhood in his pickup truck.
She immediately called the police and her family members followed the truck in a minivan — but the truck fled and hit a parked car while getting away.
Police caught up to the truck near New Bedford High School, where Reed crashed head-on into a cruiser, injuring the officer, before he was stopped.
After Reed was released on bail in the case, he fled Massachusetts and lived in Florida, Hawaii, and Alabama, where he lived for nearly a decade.
He was a fugitive until his capture and return to Massachusetts in 2015 — but Martinez-Alegria had died just six months before his arrest, and the case was dismissed for lack of evidence.
Since then, however, D.A.'s office investigators and New Bedford police worked to corroborate details on the 2003 assault with multiple witnesses and other sources.
He was also convicted for felony bail jumping, attempting to flee from police and ramming a police cruiser, and spent more than three years in prison on those charges.
Reed is also awaiting trial in connection to the 2001 homicide of Rose Marie Moniz, his half-sister, at her Acushnet Avenue home.
A break in Moniz's cold case murder came after Reed submitted a DNA sample to a state database during his incarceration, which matched DNA found at the murder scene, according to the D.A.'s office.
He is accused of bludgeoning her to death with a fireplace poker, a conch shell, and a kettle in an attempted robbery of her home.
As for Martinez-Alegria's case, Bristol District Attorney Thomas Quinn said Reed "brutally assaulted the victim with a tire iron, causing serious injuries that could have resulted in her death."
"Unfortunately the victim died shortly before his arrest, but I hope this sentence brings some solace to her relatives and friends that justice was finally served," he added.