Charge upgraded against suspect in Lincoln man’s death

Brian Fraga, the suspect in the death of Luiz Perez in Lincoln, appeared in Kent County District Court Monday, May 5, 2017. (Photo: Steph Machado)

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — The suspect in the death of a Lincoln man last week is now charged with murder.

Brian Fraga appeared in Kent County District Court Monday morning, where the manslaughter charge against him was dismissed and he was instead charged with second-degree murder.

Family and friends of the victim plan to lay him to rest this week.

Lincoln police arrested Fraga following the death of 43-year-old Luis Perez last Wednesday. Police said they found Perez unconscious in a parking lot, bleeding from a head wound. Perez later died at the hospital.

A Lincoln detective said in court Monday that the charge was upgraded after surveillance video showed Fraga repeatedly punching Perez in the face as he chased Perez out of his apartment.

“He is then captured throwing Perez down a flight of cement steps, and then continues to assault him after he’s unable to defend himself,” Detective Lt. Dana Packer said.

A memorial for Luis Perez, known by friends as “Lou,” grows outside his Manville home. Desarae and Efrain Domenech, a married couple who live next door to the Perez family, say Perez was generous and well-known in the community.

“This man was an excellent cook,” Efrain Domenech said. “He was the cook of the house, and for the whole neighborhood. His wife would say ‘where are my dishes, you’re ruining my set.’ But he would give everybody a plate of food.”

The two were pleased to hear of the upgraded charge against Fraga.

“That man should be put away for life,” Domenech said. “What he did was an evil act to a good person.”

The couple also said Perez warned them to be on the lookout for Fraga before the alleged murder, although they didn’t know exactly what their dispute was about.

“We were on alert for two weeks prior,” Desarae Domenech said. “He made sure everyone on this block knew.”

The judge ordered Fraga held without bail.

Desarae Domenech started a GoFundMe page to raise money for Perez’s family. Click here to donate »