Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin announced that David Leite, 35, with a last known address of 33 Ormond Street, Woonsocket, pleaded guilty today before Superior Court Justice Susan McGuirl to second degree murder in the March 12, 2009 murder of Mellissa Perry. McGuirl sentenced Leite to life in prison.
Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that on May 12, 2009, Leite stabbed Perry, whom he had a relationship and resided with, 79 times with a utility knife. In addition, Perry suffered broken ribs and a broken neck caused by blunt force trauma at the hands of Leite.
For the next day and a half, Leite went about his daily activities. After the murder, Leite cleaned himself up and drove to a nearby coffee shop where he ordered an iced coffee. Later that evening, Leite drove to his place of employment and worked until 2:00 a.m., after which he drove to Foxwoods to gamble. Later, Leite rented a nearby hotel room to rest. He returned to Rhode Island the following day and then rented a hotel room in Pawtucket. After he slept through the night, Leite showered and drove to Twin River, where he again gambled.
On Saturday, May 14 Lincoln Police and Rescue responded to a single car accident on Old Louisquisset Pike, where they found Leite in a silver Nissan Sentra lodged against a tree. It was later determined he had purposely driven into the tree. Rescue personnel found a note in Leite’s wallet, in which he admitted that he killed Perry and provided his address to lead police to the discovery of Perry’s body at their apartment.
“This was a brutal, senseless act upon someone who the defendant claimed he loved with all his heart. There was nothing about the defendant’s actions that could ever be perceived as love. Domestic violence is not love. Domestic violence is about power and control and is a serious crime that too often leads to tragedy,” said Attorney General Peter Kilmartin.
The investigation was handled by Woonsocket Police Detective-Sergeants Shawn Kerrigan and Matthew Ryan. Lincoln Police assisted in the investigation. The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General John Corrigan on behalf of the Office of the Attorney General.