Robert Rose convicted for 2018 murder

Dec 16, 2022

FALL RIVER — A little more than 24 hours after closing arguments, a jury on Dec. 16 convicted 52-year-old Robert Rose of the 2018 murder of Joseph Tavares outside the Regency Hotel on Faunce Corner Road.

He will serve a life sentence in prison with no possibility of parole.

“Justice has been served in this case," Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn III said.

Prosecutors said Rose had planned to meet Tavares that night to rob him. During closing arguments, prosecutor Matt Lopes said Rose was allegedly $2,300 in debt to Tavares and intended to steal cocaine to sell to another drug dealer he was working with. 

Within minutes of getting into the victim’s car Rose shot Tavares three times, hitting him in the head and neck. After exiting the vehicle, Rose shot the Tavares again in the left cheek.

Though Rose’s attorney James Murphy argued the shooting was simply an accident, Lopes said it’s clear by the direction of the bullets who pulled the trigger.

“They’re only going toward Joseph Tavares,” he said. “There are no bullets going back at the defendant. Joseph Tavares isn’t pulling the trigger with the gun pointed toward himself.”

In addition to the first-degree murder charge, Rose was also convicted on illegal possession of a gun with a defaced serial number and ammunition.

The case was prosecuted by Lopes along with Deputy District Attorney William McCauley.

"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,” Quinn said. “I want to thank the prosecution team for their efforts in putting together a very strong case against the defendant. I also want to thank the victims family for their patience and perseverance while the case was pending.”