Consecutive life sentences for gunman in drive-by murder

Photo courtesy of the office of the Attorney General

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A Providence man was sentenced to prison Thursday for a drive-by shooting that claimed another man’s life back in May of 2014.

According to the office of Attorney General Peter Kilmartin, Chaquiro Blandino received consecutive life sentences plus 20 years, 10 of which is non-paroleable, followed by 10 years suspended with probation, for the murder of 22-year-old Francis Rodriguez.

Blandino, 21, was found guilty in October of first-degree murder and other charges related to the killing.

Prosecutors said on the night of May 2, 2014, Blandino fired a .40 caliber pistol several times into a vehicle driven by Rodriguez near the intersection of Elmwood Avenue and Warrington Street, striking and killing him.

Blandino claimed in his testimony that he committed the shooting in self defense, according to the AG’s office.

“The actions by this defendant were not self defense; it was a well thought out assassination of Francis Rodriguez,” Kilmartin said in a statement. “With murderous purpose, Chaquiro Blandino went home after the two exchanged words, retrieved his illegal gun, and went looking for the victim with the sole intent to commit murder. This type of senseless gun violence must end. We cannot have young men shooting one another over purported disrespect or affiliation with one’s so-called enemies – it serves no purpose.”

Blandino was indicted for the crime in July of 2014, and he surrendered to police the following February.

Along with first-degree murder, the jury in October convicted Blandino of discharge of a firearm while committing a crime of violence resulting in death, assault with a dangerous weapon, discharge of a firearm while committing a crime of violence (assault), discharge of a firearm from a motor vehicle creating a risk of death, and carrying a firearm without a license.

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