2 sentenced to prison for convenience store shooting

March 7, 2020 GMT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Two Rhode Island men have received lengthy prison sentences for their role in a shooting at a Pawtucket convenience store that left a man with serious injuries.

Sergio Garcia, 19, and Helton Rodrigues, 20, both of Central Falls, pleaded no contest Friday to felony assault with serious bodily injury; discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence; conspiracy to commit felony assault; and possession of a pistol without a license, the state attorney general’s office said.

They were both sentenced to serve 13 1/2 years of a 33 1/2-year sentence, with the balance suspended with probation.

Garcia and Rodrigues entered the West Mart Convenience Store in November 2018 and encountered Justice Reyes, who was wearing a sweatshirt depicting a photograph of his friend, Robert Baptista, who was murdered in 2016, prosecutors said.

Garcia and Rodrigues exchanged words with Reyes, suggesting he would “end up like Robby,” before leaving the store, prosecutors said. Moments later, while Reyes stood outside, Garcia and Rodrigues returned and opened fire.

Reyes took cover inside the store but Garcia followed him inside and Reyes was struck in the abdomen and hand.