FALL RIVER (WBSM) — A Fall River man was convicted of murdering a convenience store owner and has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Nelson Coelho, 40, was convicted by a jury of first degree murder, armed robbery and carrying an illegal firearm. According to the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office, the jury returned its verdict after seven hours of deliberation over the course of two days.

The D.A.’s Office said evidence presented during the five-day trial proved Coelho laid in wait in October 2021 before entering the Stop N Save on Rock Street armed with a handgun. He shot the victim, Lal Kishor Mahaseth, once in the chest before fleeing the scene.

District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III said the 54-year-old Mahaseth “was just trying to make a living to support his family, who had come over from Nepal.”

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Coelho was also convicted of committing an armed robbery at the 7Days Food Mart in Fall River the night before the murder. The D.A.’s Office said it was proven Coelho used the money from the robbery to purchase crack cocaine with his friends.

Coelho was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murder and eight to 10 years in state prison for the armed robbery.

“I am very pleased the jury held the defendant accountable for this brutal and senseless murder,” Quinn said.

“I commend the family for their patience and dignity during the most difficult circumstances of hearing about and watching their father’s murder," he said. "I am sure the victim would be very proud of his children’s success, which I am sure is owed in large part to the example he set for them. I want to thank the prosecution team for their efforts in this most serious case.”

Crime Rate Statistics in SouthCoast Towns

Here are the crime rate statistics for SouthCoast communities, utilizing data from 2022, the most recent year available. Annual data is from the Massachusetts Crime Statistics. The number of crimes is a data collection of total arrests, DUI/OUI charges, violent crimes, and hate crimes. The clearance rate is the number of charged crimes divided by the total number of crimes recorded. We listed the SouthCoast towns alphabetically.

Gallery Credit: Ariel Dorsey

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