A Providence man was found guilty today by a Providence County Superior Court jury for the 2014 murder of Yusef A'Vant in East Providence.
Thomas Mosley (age 38) was found guilty on one count of murder in the second degree and one count of discharging a firearm, death resulting. The jury returned the verdict after two days of deliberations following a 12-day trial presided over by Superior Court Justice Robert D. Krause.
Mosley was originally tried for the murder of A'Vant and related charges in October 2019, but a mistrial was declared by the court on the charge of murder after the jury was unable to reach a verdict. Mosley was found guilty, however, of three counts of obstruction of the judicial system and one count of possession of a firearm without a license.
The court granted a motion for new trial on a single count of discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence. Prosecutors again tried Mosley for the homicide of A'Vant, leading to today's verdict.
"Violent crime in our neighborhoods affects not only victims and their families but entire communities. While today's verdict will not bring back Mr. A'Vant or take away the pain and suffering of his family, the defendant here will be held accountable for his senseless conduct," said Attorney General Peter F. Neronha. "This was a complicated case with many moving parts. I commend the work of the East Providence Police and the entire investigative and prosecution team in achieving justice here."
During trial, the State proved beyond a reasonable doubt that during the afternoon on April 13, 2014, Mosley shot and killed Yusef A'Vant during an altercation in an East Providence barber shop where the victim worked.
After an over two-year investigation, members of the East Providence Police Department and Office of the Attorney General established that Mosley and an accomplice, Evan Watson, drove to the barber shop where A'Vant worked, where Mosley confronted A'Vant and after a brief struggle, shot him.
According to the only witness in the barbershop, Mosley entered the business while holding a silver revolver and ordered him to get on the floor. After a brief struggle, Mosley shot A'Vant in the abdomen before fleeing from the scene. The witness ran across the street for help and alerted police. A'Vant was rushed to the hospital by emergency rescue but succumbed to his wound and passed shortly thereafter.
Watson provided the gun used in the murder and served as the getaway driver. On October 18, 2016, Watson pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree murder, one count of conspiracy, one count of possession of a firearm without a license, and discharge of a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence resulting in death.
Mosley will be sentenced at a later date in Providence County Superior Court. East Providence Police Department led the investigation into the case, with assistance from the Providence Police Department and the Rhode Island State Police. Assistant Attorney General Scott Erickson and Special Assistant Attorney General Robert Johnson prosecuted the case on behalf of the Office of the Attorney General.