Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin announced that Michael Stokes (age 28), of Providence, was sentenced to a total of 50 years to serve, 35 of which is not eligible for parole, for the October 17, 2015 shooting inside the El Tiburon nightclub in Providence. Stokes was found guilty by a jury of the shooting after a week-long trial in February 2017.
Superior Court Justice Robert D. Krause sentenced Stokes to 15 years to serve for each of the three counts of assault with a dangerous weapon to run concurrent to one another; 20 years to serve, non-parolable, for each count of discharge of a firearm, to run concurrent to each other but consecutive to the assault with a dangerous weapon counts; and five years to serve for possession of a firearm without a license, to run concurrent. Found by the Court to be a habitual offender, Stokes was sentenced to an additional 20 years with 15 years to serve (non parolable), to run consecutive to the other charges.
During the trial, the State proved that on the evening of October 17, 2015, inside the El Tiburon nightclub, Stokes engaged in a verbal argument with Dwayne "Fat Cat" Monteiro. As Stokes was headed towards the exit of the nightclub, he turned, pointed a .40 caliber semiautomatic pistol at Monteiro, and fired multiple times. Monteiro was struck by three bullets. Two other individuals standing nearby also suffered gunshot wounds.
A witness who was inside the nightclub identified Stokes as the shooter.
Stokes fled the state after the shooting and was later apprehended in North Carolina.
"Firing a gun in a crowded nightclub because of a verbal disagreement or feeling disrespected is a completely senseless act that often leads to deadly consequences. In this case, Michael Stokes, who has a long criminal history of gun violence, showed little regard for the innocent bystanders and victims of his brazen acts of violence," said Attorney General Kilmartin. "He is a habitual offender and will rightfully spend an additional 15 years in prison because of his reckless actions."
Providence Police Detectives Matthew Greeley and Brian Dyer led the investigation and Assistant Attorney General James Baum prosecuted the case on behalf of the Office of Attorney General.