Attorney General Peter Kilmartin announced today that a Providence County Superior Court jury found Blake Covington (DOB: 03/28/84) guilty on all counts stemming from the September 30, 2010 shooting in the Prospect Heights housing complex in Pawtucket. The verdict was handed down after just three hours of jury deliberations that concluded a two-day trial before Superior Court Justice Robert D. Krause.
Covington, with a last known address of 57 E. Berkshire Street, Providence, was found guilty on three counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, two counts of discharging a firearm, and one count of possession of a firearm without a license.
During the trial, the State showed that in the early morning hours of September 30, 2010, Covington shot Claudio Nieves three times after a brief confrontation in the common area of the Prospect Heights housing complex. One of the bullets lodged in Mr. Nieves’ spine, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down.
Covington then turned the gun on a bystander, firing and missing the person. Covington returned his attention to Nieves, where he pointed the gun at his head and fired. The gun did not discharge. Covington then repeatedly kicked Nieves in the head before fleeing the scene.
The defendant was identified two days later by witnesses through a photo lineup. The Pawtucket Police issued a warrant on October 2, 2010. He was later arrested by authorities in North Carolina, where he extradited to Rhode Island on February 21, 2011.
Assistant Attorney General Scott Erickson prosecuted the case on behalf of the Office of the Attorney General. Detective Richard LaForest led the investigation for the Pawtucket Police.
Covington has been held without bail since his extradition to Rhode Island from North Carolina.