Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin announced today that Superior Court Justice Robert D. Krause sentenced Blake Covington (DOB: 03/28/84) to 60 years, with 50 to serve and the remainder suspended with probation, for September 30, 2010 shooting in the Prospect Heights housing complex in Pawtucket.
Covington, with a last known address of 57 E. Berkshire Street, Providence, was found guilty in April by a Providence County Superior Court jury 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.
“What had started out as an evening of drinking with some friends following a day of work, ended with life changing consequences for Claudio Nieves,” said Attorney General Kilmartin. Nieves was shot once in the left clavicle, once in the upper right quadrant of his body and one time in the left side of his abdomen. One of these bullets, fired without provocation by defendant, severed Nieves’ spinal cord and as of today remains inside Mr. Nieves. “As a result of this violent and senseless act, Claudio Nieves is forever confined to a wheelchair, paralyzed from the waist down.”
Less than 48 hours after being released on bail for illegally possessing a loaded firearm, after promising the Superior Court that he would keep the peace and be of good behavior while on bail, Covington armed himself with another firearm, shot Claudio Nieves three times, leaving him wheelchair bound for life, shot at Yamirca Arias, tried to shoot Claudio Nieves again, and then proceeded to kick Nieves numerous times in the head before fleeing.
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 from 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.