FALL RIVER — A New Bedford man has been sentenced to life in prison without parole after he was convicted of murdering 37-year-old Joseph Tavares outside a Dartmouth hotel in 2018.

The Bristol County District Attorney's Office said a jury convicted 52-year-old Robert Rose of first degree murder on Thursday following a two-week trial in Fall River Superior Court.

Rose was found guilty of shooting and killing Tavares on Dec. 22, 2018 in the parking lot of the Regency Hotel on Faunce Corner Road in an apparent robbery.

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He was also convicted of multiple firearms charges in connection to illegally possessing a gun with a defaced serial number and ammunition, the D.A.'s office stated.

Prosecutors said Rose had planned a meeting with Tavares in the parking lot that night.

But within minutes of getting into the victim's vehicle, he shot Tavares three times, hitting him in the head and neck.

After getting out of the car, he then shot once more, hitting the victim in the cheek.

Authorities said the two men knew each other, and the D.A.'s office said Rose often bought drugs from Tavares.

The victim was discovered bleeding heavily in the vehicle by a night manager who was alerted by a guest.

First responders rushed Tavares to St. Luke's Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The motive for the killing was robbery.

Judge Thomas McGuire sentenced Rose to life in prison with no possibility of parole.

"I am very pleased that the jury held the defendant accountable for the senseless and violent death of the victim, which was connected to drugs," said Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn.

"I want to thank the prosecution team for their efforts in putting together a very strong case against the defendant," he added.

"I also want to thank the victims family for their patience and perseverance while the case was pending. Justice has been served in this case."

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