Providence – Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin announced that Superior Court Justice Robert D. Krause sentenced Chaquiro Blandino (age 21), with a last known address of 150 Stamford Avenue, Providence, to consecutive life sentences plus 20 years, 10 of which is non-paroleable, followed by 10 years suspended with probation, for the May 2014 drive-by shooting murder of 22-year-old Francis Rodriguez.
Blandino was found guilty by a jury in October of first degree murder, discharge of a firearm while committing a crime of violence resulting in death, assault with a dangerous weapon, discharge of a firearm while committing a crime of violence (assault), discharge of a firearm from a motor vehicle creating a risk of death, and carrying a firearm without a license.
During the course of the trial, the State proved beyond a reasonable doubt that at approximately 8:15 p.m. on May 2, 2014 near the intersection of Warrington Street and Elmwood Avenue in Providence, Blandino fired a .40 caliber Smith & Wesson pistol several times into the vehicle driven by Rodriguez, striking and killing Rodriguez. The passenger, Marvin Vasquez, was not injured.
A witness to the shooting provided the license plate and a description of the motor vehicle seen leaving the scene immediately after the gun was fired. Police determined that the motor vehicle was registered to the defendant’s mother. Arrested on a separate incident, the defendant’s brother led police to the weapon used in the shooting and indicated that Blandino admitted the shooting to him.
Police identified the passenger in the motor vehicle driven by the defendant as Nelson Pineda, who told police that after he and the defendant encountered the victims earlier in the day, where they exchanged harsh words, the defendant went to his home to retrieve the gun used in the drive-by shooting.
The defendant testified on his own behalf during the trial asserting he committed the shooting in self defense.
«The actions by this defendant were not self defense; it was a well thought out assassination of Francis Rodriguez. With murderous purpose, Chaquiro Blandino went home after the two exchanged words, retrieved his illegal gun, and went looking for the victim with the sole intent to commit murder,» said Attorney General Kilmartin. «This type of senseless gun violence must end. We cannot have young men shooting one another over purported disrespect or affiliation with one’s so-called enemies – it serves no purpose.»
Providence Police Detectives Angelo A’Vant and Kenneth Court led the investigation. Assistant Attorney General Ronald Gendron prosecuted the case on behalf of the Office of Attorney General.