Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin announced that on Thursday, October 18, 2018, Miguel Tebalan-Rivera (age 36), of Providence was found guilty of one count of murder and one count of possession of a knife while committing a crime of violence for the December 23, 2015 stabbing death of Julio Francisco Perez-Mejia. The verdict was handed down by Superior Court Justice Netti C. Vogel after a two-day jury waived trial.
During the trial, the State proved that at approximately 6:30 p.m. on December 23, 2015, Miguel Tebalan-Rivera arrived at a Providence Police substation and told two officers, "I killed somebody, I killed somebody." He went on to say, "They made me do it. They wouldn't give my work and they hurt my family."
Police took the defendant into custody and drove to 121 Moore Street, the address given by the defendant. Upon entering the third-floor apartment, officers found a man, later identified as Julio Francisco Perez-Mejia, unconscious lying in a pool of blood. The apartment did not show signs of a struggle. Perez-Mejia was pronounced dead on the scene.
The Medical Examiner's testimony indicated the victim was stabbed a total of five times, two times in the chest and one time in the lower left torso, with these wounds all being of a fatal nature. The victim also had a defensive stab wound to the left forearm and a stab wound to the left armpit.
Providence Police Detective Daniel O'Connell led the investigation and Special Assistant Attorney General Robert E. Johnson IV prosecuted the case on behalf of the Office of the Attorney General.