A New Bedford man is going back to prison after stabbing a woman shortly after being released from prison after spending 20 years behind bars for a 2001 killing in New Bedford.

According to the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office, Robert Tirado, 41, will serve four to seven years in state prison for the March 2022 stabbing of a woman on Linden Street in New Bedford.

Tirado pleaded guilty last Friday in Fall River Superior Court to an indictment charging him with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily injury.

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The D.A.’s Office said that on March 8, Tirado’s girlfriend and the victim of the stabbing “were drinking alcohol and horsing around while walking down Linden Street in New Bedford.”

“At one point, the victim picked up her much larger friend and dropped her to the ground,” the D.A.’s Office said in a release. “(Tirado) happened to be driving down the street at the same time, jumped out of his car and stabbed the victim seven times in the back.”

The incident was captured on nearby surveillance video.

The unnamed victim was taken to St. Luke’s Hospital with a collapsed lung but later refused to cooperate with the prosecution.

Meanwhile, the D.A’s Office said Tirado and his girlfriend fled town, leaving the woman’s three children, ranging in age from six years old to 13, alone. The Department of Children and Families took custody of the children after they failed to show up for school for several days.

Tirado and his girlfriend were arrested in Rhode Island on April 12, 2022.

Tirado was previously convicted of manslaughter in the 2001 killing of George Carpenter in New Bedford and was sentenced to serve 20 years in state prison.

According to the D.A.’s Office, Tirado fought with Carpenter and punctured his tire, preventing him from leaving the scene, and called others to help him during the early morning hours of Feb. 16, 2001. The group kicked, stomped and struck the victim with a tire iron. The victim was rushed to St. Luke’s Hospital and then transported to Boston Medical Center where he died.

Tirado was convicted of second degree murder in 2003, but then filed a motion for a new trial in 2016, claiming “ineffective assistance of counsel.”

“Tirado argued on appeal that he should have been granted a new trial because his defense attorney at trial did not object to the use of a substitute medical examiner,” the D.A.’s Office said. “The motion was granted by Judge E. Susan Garsh. He was then re-tried in 2017 and convicted of manslaughter.”

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