Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin today announced that Superior Court Associate Justice Susan E. McGuirl sentenced Victor Onishi (DOB: 7/4/80) to life in prison for the July 10, 2010 murder of 22-year-old Lisbeth Catalan. On April 13, 2012, Onishi pled nolo contendre to an amended count of second degree murder.
Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Onishi strangled his on-again/off-again girlfriend, Lisbeth Catalan, during an argument at her house on Chalkstone Avenue in Providence.
Onishi rented a room in the basement of a home owned by Catalan's family; she lived with her mother and brother on the first floor of the multi-family home.
On the night of July 9, 2010, just one week after Catalan's 22nd birthday, she and a group of friends went out to a nightclub in Johnston. Onishi joined them at the nightclub, and became enraged when other men were paying attention to Catalan. On the car ride home, he confronted her, and the argument continued when they arrived at home.
Onishi admitted that after arriving at the home, Catalan ended their relationship. It was at this point that he grabbed her neck and strangled her. Afterward, he cleaned himself up, locked the door of her bedroom and left.
"Lisbeth Catalan had just turned 22 when Victor Onishi brutally ended her life," said Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin. "When she rejected his obsessive, controlling behavior, the defendant's jealousy spiraled out of control. Ultimately, Victor Onishi decided that if he couldn't have Lisbeth, no one else would. This case is a tragic reminder of the prevalence of dating violence in our society."
Providence Detective Sgt. Fabio Zuena and Detectives John Muriel, Carlos Sical, Steve Gencarella and Angelo A'Vant led the investigation. Assistant Attorney General Maureen Keough and Special Assistant Attorney General Diane Daigle prosecuted the case on behalf of the Office of Attorney General.