Friend of Warwick murder suspect: ‘I can’t understand why he did this’

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Two Warwick men are being held without bail after police said they beat a 70-year-old man and left him for dead on his boat.

Richard Baribault, age 40, and Troy Gunderway, age 44, allegedly beat and robbed Fernando Silva because he had recently won several hundred dollars from playing Keno.

“Fernando Silva, also known locally as ‘Captain Freddy,’ was an avid Keno player at the local convenience stores in the Oakland Beach area. It’s believed he had a recent winning in the order of several hundred dollars, that he may have told some other people about locally, who thought that might be something they would want to go and steal,” said Captain Christopher Stewart of the Warwick Police Department.

According to police, Silva was found dead in his boat Saturday at the end of Randall Avenue. Prosecutors believe he was robbed and left for dead on August 2.

Gunderway and Beribault were both arraigned Thursday.

Gunderway’s friend, Susanne Pettinato, said she was there when he was arrested for the crime.

“I was in the living room watching TV and 15 Warwick cops came in with detectives. They took Troy off the couch and put handcuffs on him. And they told me not to move, to put my hands up, and that’s what I did,” she explained. “I don’t believe he would be the type to commit murder.”

Pettinato said Gunderway might be innocent – but if he is guilty, she thinks he should be held accountable for his actions.

“He’s a very friendly person, kind of quiet person sometimes, a good person to be around, and that’s why I can’t understand why he did this,” she said.

Warwick police told Eyewitness News the suspects made incriminating statements to police about the murder – and witnesses told police that Gunderway and Baribault were the last two people to see the victim alive.

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