- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 23, 2015

FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) - A New Bedford man has been convicted of first-degree murder for killing a retired school teacher in her Fairhaven home and stealing her jewelry.

Prosecutors say 38-year-old Joshua Silva was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole following his conviction Wednesday in Fall River Superior Court for the October 2013 slaying of 69-year-old Joyce Howland.

Silva was convicted after a weeklong trial and about six hours of jury deliberations.

Authorities say Silva worked for a contractor and had helped install attic insulation in Howland’s home days before she was found dead with her throat cut. They said the jewelry he stole was pawned for drug money.

Silva’s attorney said evidence in the case was circumstantial and there was no eyewitness testimony that pointed to his client.


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