New Bedford police respond to home near scene of deadly crash


About a dozen New Bedford and Massachusetts State Police surrounded and entered a triple-decker home at Tallman Street and Ashley Boulevard Thursday morning.

A deadly crash happened right in front of that home Wednesday. While a suspect wanted in connection with the crash is still on the loose, it’s unknown if Thursday’s police activity is related to that investigation.

A resident of the building told Eyewitness News he was told police were looking for that suspect. However, police have not confirmed that.

Police have left the scene and it did not appear they arrested anyone.

The crash took place just after 9:45 a.m. Wednesday, according to the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office.

The DA’s office said Fairhaven police earlier that morning attempted to stop a Chevrolet Malibu in their town but the driver fled into New Bedford. While traveling west on Tallman Street, that vehicle ran through a stop sign and collided with a Toyota Corolla.

The driver of the Corolla – identified as Janet Murphy, 68 – was pronounced dead en route to the hospital. Her passenger – who police have not yet named – is said to be in critical condition.

Police arrested one of the people in the Malibu. However, they said a second suspect – identified as James Bennett-Werra, 21 of Easton – took off and was still on the loose at last check.

According to police, Bennett-Werra is wanted for violating parole after cutting off a GPS monitoring bracelet Tuesday morning. Police said Bennett-Werra is transgender and is likely dressed as a female who goes by the names “Janaya Love” or “Jennifer.”

Police believe Bennett-Werra may be in Taunton or Fall River.

Massachusetts State Police are investigating the crash. Anyone who sees Bennett-Werra should contact Field Supervisor Richard Ryan at (508) 328-1648 or Karen Rourke at (508) 713-8735.

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