Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced that Ashley Weaver (age 28), of Dorchester, MA, pleaded guilty in Providence County Superior Court on January 3, 2020 to four counts stemming from a May 2019 armed robbery in Providence. Superior Court Justice Robert D. Krause sentenced Weaver to 20 years with seven years to serve at the Adult Correctional Institutions (ACI) and the balance suspended with probation.
"Silly masks aside, this armed defendant represented a significant danger to public safety and to the citizens of Rhode Island and Massachusetts," said Attorney General Neronha. "I want to commend the work of the Violent Fugitive Task Force members for their teamwork and collaboration in bringing this case to justice."
Weaver pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree robbery, one count of using a firearm during a crime of violence, one count of carrying a pistol without a license, and one count of simple assault. As part of her sentence, Weaver was also ordered to undergo mental health counseling.
Weaver is also facing charges in Massachusetts stemming from several alleged armed robberies, including one where she allegedly shot a store clerk at an Attleboro Mobil in May 2019.
Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that, during the early morning hours of May 19, 2019, Weaver committed an armed robbery of a Gulf gas station on Plainfield Street in Providence while wearing a monkey mask as a disguise.
Weaver entered the gas station disguised in the mask while brandishing a .40 caliber pistol and demanded money from the store clerk, who handed over approximately $800 in cash.
During the course of the investigation, Weaver was identified as a suspect and apprehended by members of the Violent Fugitive Task Force on June 6, 2019 at an apartment on Comstock Street in Providence.
Detective Robert Melaragno of the Providence Police Department and Detective Timothy Dandeneau of the Rhode Island State Police led the investigation into the case. Special Assistant Attorneys General John Perrotta and Greg Abilheira prosecuted the case on behalf of the Office of the Attorney General.