Today, the Rhode Island Supreme Court affirmed Justice Daniel Procaccini's July 2015 decision granting Raymond "Beaver" Tempest's application for post-conviction relief. The Court upheld the decision overturning Tempest's conviction for the 1982 murder of Doreen Picard in Woonsocket.
In 2004, the defendant filed an application for post-conviction relief requesting that DNA testing be performed upon certain items of evidence. In 2014, the defendant amended his initial application for post-conviction relief to vacate his conviction based on allegations of prosecutorial misconduct, the alleged withholding of certain exculpatory evidence and newly discovered evidence.
Hearing on the matter began in early February 2015, and ended in April of 2015. Justice Procaccini issued his decision granting the defendant relief on July 13, 2015. In September of 2015, the court set bail in the amount of $50,000 with surety with the condition that home confinement monitor Tempest. The Attorney General immediately filed an appeal.
Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin stated, "Today, our thoughts and prayers are with Doreen's family who have been remarkable throughout this very long and difficult process. We thank them for their courage and determination, as well as their support, kindness and generous spirit, which have been uplifting and inspirational for the prosecutors handling this case and for the entire Office.
I'd also like to recognize the prosecutors who spent thousands of hours reviewing the case, participating in depositions, conducting the post-conviction relief hearing, calling and cross examining witnesses, preparing legal memorandum and finally, preparing and arguing the appeal. The team of Assistant Attorneys General J. Patrick Youngs, Aaron Weisman, and Christopher Bush, and Special Assistant Attorney General Jeanine McConaghy worked tirelessly for months, including nights and weekends, to prepare to argue this case before the Superior and Supreme Courts, and I commend them for the dedication to the case and in seeking justice for the Picard family.
The State is disappointed with the decision. In essence, the matter will be remanded to the Superior Court for trial. At this stage in the proceedings, we will evaluate the existing evidence and prepare for the next hearing date before the Superior Court."