Man pleads not guilty to brutal West Greenwich murder

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A Richmond man accused of brutally killing a West Greenwich man earlier this year and assaulting the responding police officers was ordered held without bail on Friday.

Christian Lepore pleaded not guilty to six charges, including the murder of 63-year-old John O’Neil.

O’Neil was beaten to death outside his John Potter Road home in late May. The entire attack happened while he was on the line with police.

Police said O’Neil made the call when Lepore walked onto his property and began threatening him. The call took a horrific turn, according to prosecutors, when Lepore began beating O’Neil with objects from his yard.

By the time paramedics arrived, O’Neil was already dead. The dispatcher stayed on the phone with him during the entire attack.

Investigators said the attack appeared to be random and unprovoked. Lepore was asked to leave his job as a cook at URI’s Alton Jones campus – located near the victim’s residence – due to his “irrational behavior that day,” according to state police.

Prosecutors said Lepore is also accused of attacking four police officers and a police dog. For that, he was charged with four counts of simple assault and one count of cruelty to a police animal.

According to Lepore’s defense attorney, his client was insane at the time of the attack.

“I would like to state that I think as the case unfolds and develops, it will become clear that Mr. Lepore was insane at the time of the alleged commission of the crimes that he’s charged with,” said Joeseph Voccola.

At his arraignment Thursday, Lepore was ordered held without bail until a pretrial conference Oct. 19.

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