WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — A Cranston teenager accused of shooting and killing his mother’s boyfriend was arraigned in family court Thursday morning and taken back to the state Training School.
A spokeswoman for Attorney General Peter Kilmartin said the attorney general intends to try the 17-year-old – who is charged with murder and other related charges – as an adult. The teen is scheduled for a status conference on July 27 and – if the judge finds probable cause to do it – the waiver to move the case out of family court could be signed then.
The victim, identified by police as Valdez Loiseau, 24, was found dead in Attleboro on Tuesday, his body burned at the edge of the woods off Prescott Street.
“The subject had been lit on fire and it also appeared that he had suffered at least one gunshot wound,” Cranston Police Chief Col. Michael Winquist said in an interview with Eyewitness News Wednesday.
Winquist said the teen – who is not be identified because of his age – admitted to killing Loiseau inside the Edgewood Avenue home they shared after a dispute between Loiseau and Perez.
When asked if the suspect acted in self-defense, his attorney John Cicilline said, “I’d like to think so. From what little I know, yes.”
Cicilline added, “There’s a possibility that we can try and keep this case in the family court, where I think it belongs because they deal with juveniles. And young people are certainly treated differently as juveniles.”
According to Winquist, both the suspect and the victim have had contact with police in the past.
The chief also said when police searched the house, they found a semi-automatic handgun and Perez’s blood-covered shoes.
“He also admitted that he and his mother had transported the body to Attleboro, Massachusetts and attempted to light the body on fire,” Winquist said.
Three other people were charged in the case, including the teen’s mother, Melonie Perez, 35, and his girlfriend, Samantha Rastella, 18.
Both Perez and Rastella appeared in court Wednesday.
Perez is accused of helping her son drive the body to Attleboro. Rastella, 18, is charged with trying to hide the murder weapon.
Both women were released on personal recognizance after their arraignments.
Another 17-year-old male from Cranston is charged with possession of ammunition in the case.