Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin announced that Superior Court Justice Robert D. Krause sentenced Luis "Fat Boy" Gonzalez (age 24), with a last known address of 645 Douglas Avenue, Providence, to 50 years with 30 years to serve and the remainder suspended with probation for his role in the June 15, 2013 shooting in Providence that killed 12-year-old Aynis Vargas and injured Vilma Tineo, Elaine Devargas, and Eugelyn Cabrera-Martinez.
The sentence was agreed to by the defense, prosecution and the Court with the approval from the victims. In accordance with the sentence, Gonzalez agreed to waive his right to appeal and agreed not to seek post conviction relief.
Gonzalez was found guilty by a Providence County Superior jury in June of three counts of felony assault, three counts of discharge of a firearm while in the commission of a violent crime (felony assault), conspiracy to commit felony assault, and discharge of a firearm resulting in death. The jury found Gonzalez not guilty of the murder of Aynis Vargas and conspiracy to commit murder.
"The murder of a 12-year-old girl and the assault of three woman, all innocent victims, at a graduation party shook the community and the state to its core. It demonstrated the senseless violence that street gangs engage in and the tragedy it creates, with no consideration or care for the community. This case should continue to serve as a reminder that violence in our neighborhoods cannot be tolerated. We cannot have another Aynis Vargas murdered at the hands of young men with guns," said Attorney General Peter Kilmartin.
"There is no sentence that can erase the events of that fateful night, heal the physical and emotional scars, or return Aynis to her family; however, the grace and courage shown by the victims gives us hope. Grounded by their faith, Aynis' family, Vilma Tineo, Elaine Devargas, and Eugelyn Cabrera-Martinez have taught us all a lesson in forgiveness that will remain long after today," Kilmartin added.
On the evening of June 15, 2013, Luis "Fat Boy Gonzalez and co-defendants Angel Valerio, Luis "Didi" Gonzalez, Branden "Blaze" Castro, and Ricardo Vasquez, all members of the Harriet Street gang, or H-Block, drove together to the Hartford Park area of Providence looking to retaliate against members of the Hartford Park gang for vandalizing a van owned by Vasquez and for their alleged role in the murder of a friend of H-Block members, Omar Polanco. That same night, 12-year-old Aynis Vargas was outside of 256 Hartford Avenue celebrating a graduation party with other women and children.
Ricardo Vasquez drove the van into Hartford Park and parked behind a building across from the party. Castro, encouraged to "bang the party" by the defendant and the others in the van, exited and approached the party and fired a .22 caliber handgun into the crowd of people at the graduation party. Bullets struck and killed 12-year-old Aynis Vargas and injured the three other women.
Vasquez pled guilty and is serving a life sentence. Valerio pled guilty to his role and was sentenced to 15 years, with 12 years to serve and the remainder suspended with probation. Castro pled guilty in April and is serving consecutive life sentences plus 50 years. Luis "Didi" Gonzalez pled guilty in March is scheduled to be sentenced on January 9, 2015.
Providence Police Detective Captain Michael E. Correia, Detective Lieutenant Michael Figueiredo, Detective Sergeant Fabio Zuena, Detective Frank Villella, Detective William Mattera, and Detective Theodore Michael led the investigation. Assistant Attorney General and Chief of the Criminal Division Stacey P. Veroni and Assistant Attorney General and Chief of the Narcotics and Organized Crime Unit James Baum prosecuted the case on behalf of the Office of Attorney General.