New Bedford Serial Armed Robberer Sentenced to State Prison

Bristol County District Attorney’s Office

Thomas M. Quinn III

District Attorney

Press Release

April 7, 2016

Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced that a 37-year-old New Bedford man who attempted to rob two separate New Bedford convenience stores while armed with a knife was sentenced to serve five-and-a-half to eight years state prison sentence this week.

Michael Nichols submitted an “unagreed plea” before Judge Gregg Pasquale in Fall River Superior Court Monday afternoon. He was charged with two counts of armed assault to rob. Assistant District Attorney Robert DiGiantomaso argued for an eight to 12 year state prison sentenced based on the facts of the case and the defendant’s lengthy criminal history, which includes multiple stints in jail. The defendant requested a three to four year state prison sentence in this case. Judge Pasquale eventually sentenced Mr. Nichols to serve no less than five-and-a-half years nd no more than eight years in state prison. Judge Pasquale also placed the defendant on supervised probation for four years, which will commence upon his release from prison.

On July 28, 2015, New Bedford Police responded to a report of a robbery in progress at the Petro-Mart convenience store on Coggeshall Street. When officers arrived, they were informed that the suspect had just fled on foot and got into a taxicab. Prior to fleeing the store, the suspect held up a knife to the male clerk and demanded money. But when the clerk shoved the suspect backwards, the suspect ran from the store.

A short time later, while police were still searching the area, a male flagged down police north of the Petro Mart area. The male told police the 7-11 at 1499 Acushnet Avenue was being robbed. When police arrived at the 7-11, the male clerk informed them he was outside smoking when the suspect got out of a yellow cab and approached the store. The clerk re-entered the store and went around the counter. The suspect followed closely behind the clerk and brandished a knife, demanding money. The clerk shoved the male and a struggle ensued before the suspect fled, shattering a glass door panel as he ran into the secured side of the doorway. A witness then informed police that the male may be hiding across the street. The defendant was located crouched in a corner behind a building across the street. A red handled knife was recovered from the male’s back pocket as was a black bandana.

“This is another example of a repeat offender committing an attempted robbery of an innocent personjust trying to make a living. The defendant was on probation for the same offense,” District Attorney Quinn said. “A significant state prison sentence was warranted and will be pursued by my office with these types of criminals.”

Gregg Miliote

Director of Communications