“A 50-year-old New Bedford man was sentenced to life in prison with no parole last week after being convicted of the January 2018 First Degree Murder of Chantel Bruno in New Bedford, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.
Kenneth Roark was convicted by a Jury of his Peers on Wednesday, November 23 of First Degree Murder, Home Invasion and Animal Cruelty. The two-week trial took place in Fall River Superior Court and was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Dennis Collins and Jason Mohan.
At 1:19 A.M. on January 22, 2018, officers from the New Bedford police department received a 911 call asking them to respond to 387 Ashley Blvd. for the report of a female calling for help. Arriving officers discovered 34-year-old Chantel Bruno collapsed on the apartment building entrance. Bruno was bleeding heavily from several obvious stab wounds. Bruno made a brief statement to the officers about her dog before she slipped into unconsciousness.
She was transported to St. Luke’s Hospital where she was pronounced deceased. The medical examiner would later document 49 stab wounds to Bruno’s body, and stated that she died of blood loss. Bruno suffered significant defensive wounds to her hands and had ten to twelve stab wounds to her back which measured approximately ten inches deep. Bruno’s small dog was also stabbed but survived.
The investigation into this homicide revealed that Bruno was not a tenant of the building but had been staying in the apartment of her boyfriend. In the few months that she had been staying in the apartment, Bruno became unpopular with her neighbors. Her neighbor Robert Viveiros had a particular dislike for Bruno and anger had been brewing for several weeks. Viveiros accused Bruno of blaring music from the apartment at all hours of the day and night, causing problems with her small dog and of throwing soup cans out her window directly at his vehicle.
After extensive investigation by Massachusetts State Police detectives assigned to the district attorney’s office and New Bedford Police detectives, which included the use of surveillance video, cell phone data and witness interviews, police learned Viveiros had recruited Roark to harm the victim.
Viveiros was convicted of First Degree Murder, Home Invasion and Animal Cruelty after a trial in November of 2021. He is currently serving a life prison sentence. Both defendants’ first trials were declared mistrials, one due to the onset of Covid-19 and the other due to a hung jury.
“I am very pleased the jury held the defendant accountable for the brutal murder of the victim. I appreciate the family’s perseverance and patience in enduring multiple trials in this case,” District Attorney Quinn said. “I want to commend the prosecution team for their efforts in prosecuting two trials for each defendant. Countless hours went into the successful prosecution of these cases. I am grateful for their work on behalf of the people of Bristol County.”