2 sentenced to prison in killing of North Providence dad

Brandyn Pavao and Davon Silva

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Two of the six suspects in the murder of a North Providence man were sentenced to prison Thursday for their roles in the killing.

Brandyn Pavao was ordered to serve three years of a 10-year sentence at the ACI, with the rest suspended with probation and credit for time already served. He previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit felony assault.

Pavao was initially charged with first-degree murder, but that charge was dismissed as part of the plea deal.

Davon Silva also pleaded guilty to the same charge and was sentenced Thursday to 10 years in prison with one to serve.

Prosecutors said Pavao got into an argument with Hernan Avila III at Sam’s Food Store on Humbert Street in May of 2016, then called the other defendants to the store. Upon arrival, Ernest Keosophanh got out of the car and started shooting, hitting both Avila III and his father, Hernan Avila, Jr.

Avilla III survived, despite being struck eight times, but his father died as a result. Avila, Jr.’s wife, Georgette Avila, said her husband jumped in front of their son and took bullets for him.

Avila III gave an impact statement in court Thursday, saying he often visits his father’s grave and tells him about his day.

Hernan Avila, Jr. was killed and his son, Hernan Avila III, injured in a shooting outside a North Providence convenience store.

Georgette Avila also gave a statement, calling the shooting a senseless act of violence and saying she heard Pavao make the phone call that led to her husband’s death. The family sought the maximum possible sentence for Pavao.

Prosecutors were seeking seven years but the judge decided on a lesser sentence because Pavao was the first suspect to cooperate, saying he named the gunman and testified about the shooting in front of a grand jury.

Keosophanh pleaded guilty to a murder charge earlier this year and was sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years.

Davante Neves was sentenced last month to one year in prison and a nine-year suspended sentence for his role.

The final two defendants, Nicholas Armenti and Nick Perez, are scheduled to be sentenced Friday. Armenti previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit felony assault and Perez pleaded guilty to one count of selling a firearm with a minor and an unrelated felony drug possession charge.