PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The suspect accused of fatally beating another man with a two-by-four outside a Federal Hill bar won’t be going home while he awaits his murder trial.
Several people took the stand Thursday as both sides argued whether Lastarza should be a free man ahead of his trial, but ultimately the judge ordered him held without bail.
Both sides agreed there was a fight outside the Providence bar, but the defense claims Lastarza’s close friend was being punched by Stack and another man. They argue Lastarza rushed in with the two-by-four in order to save his friend’s life.
“Mr. Lastarza didn’t bring a gun to this fight, didn’t bring a knife to this fight. He clearly found something in the area and he used that something in order to help protect the guy on the ground, who happened to be his friend,” said defense attorney Michelle Alves.
State prosecutors said Lastarza’s attack went well beyond what was necessary though, considering no one else was armed.
“He could have done any number of things other than swinging the club, the stick, at the unarmed man on the ground, swinging it at his head,” said prosecutor Roger Demers.
The $3 Bar has been shut down since the incident, but the owner is appealing that decision to the Department of Business Regulation.