Suspect in gruesome Federal Hill beating death pleads not guilty

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The man accused of using a two-by-four to beat another man to death in broad daylight on Federal Hill last July has pleaded not guilty to murder and a felony assault charge.

Lastarza, 48, of Providence, appeared in Superior Court Wednesday for an arraignment after being indicted by a grand jury last month. His attorney Christopher Smith entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.

Dressed in a blue prison jumpsuit Lastarza was ordered to continue to be held without bail at the Adult Correctional Institution by Magistrate Judge John McBurney. Lastarza has been behind bars since his arrest in July.

He is accused of beating Jonathan Stack, 33, of Glocester, outside the $3 Bar on Atwell Ave., he died days later of his injuries.

Stack’s family members were in the courtroom for Lastarza’s arraignment.

The $3 Bar was shut down following the incident, and in November the state upheld the revocation of the bar’s liquor license after appeal attempts from the owner.

As Target 12 previously reported, Stack – a junk car dealer – and Lastarza’s son has previously clashed over a motor vehicle two years ago, ending in an assault with a stapler.

Tim White ( twhite@wpri.com ) is the Target 12 investigative reporter for WPRI 12 and Fox Providence. Follow him on Twitter: @white_tim

This report has been changed from the original which listed Stack’s age as 34. He was 33 at the time of his death.

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