Fairhaven Man Convicted for New Bedford Slaying
NEW BEDFORD — A Fairhaven man will spend up to 15 years in state prison after he was convicted of killing a homeless man in New Bedford in 2019.
The Bristol County District Attorney's office said 43-year-old Matthew Lariviere was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter on Monday, after a 16-day jury trial in Fall River Superior Court — and he's also suspected of a carjacking and armed robbery.
Lariviere stabbed Robert Jones III to death at a homeless encampment in the woods behind 105 Nauset St. in August 2019.
The medical examiner counted at least 137 stab wounds on Jones' body, which was hidden under a tarp along the railroad tracks in the area, according to the D.A.'s office.
Police said an anonymous man reported finding the body and even drew a map for the officers to find the victim, who was known as "Lawrence."
The wooded area between Nauset Street and Nash Road and near the railroad tracks was being used as a homeless encampment, and both Lariviere and the victim had been staying there.
According to investigators, Lariviere stabbed Jones after the victim accused him of stealing his backpack.
They found the knife used on Jones as well as bloody clothes belonging to Lariviere, the D.A.'s office noted.
Alleged Carjacking and Armed Robbery
Lariviere is also charged with armed carjacking and armed robbery for alleged criminal behavior during the murder investigation.
Police responded to a knife carjacking at 570 North Front St. while interviewing the anonymous man regarding the homicide, according to the D.A.'s office.
Officers arrived to find a female victim, who said a man — later identified as Lariviere — allegedly approached her while she was putting her baby son into a car seat.
He allegedly showed a knife and demanded money, before telling her to take her son out of the car — and then allegedly driving off with it.
The alleged carjacking victim's handbag and cell phone were still in the car at the time, which allowed police to track its location to Belleville Avenue.
Following a brief chase, the car crashed and the suspect fled on foot before he was caught.
Before they found the car, police also said another robbery at knifepoint took place at a convenience store at 807 Ashley Blvd. during which the suspect took money from the register and fled.
Sentencing for Manslaughter
Lariviere was sentenced to serve 12 to 15 years in prison on the manslaughter charge.
"The defendant brutally killed the victim, but unfortunately there were no eye witnesses," Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn commented.
"The jury found that there was an issue of self-defense in the case or some other mitigating factors. I respect the jury’s verdict," he added.
"The defendant has a long history of drug abuse. His violent and excessive conduct clearly demonstrates that he poses a danger to the public."