Rhode Island Criminal Defense and DUI Lawyer James E. Smith found an interesting article from Projo.com
Pawtucket man indicted in domestic murder case
01:00 AM EST on Friday, December 10, 2010
Journal Staff Writer
PROVIDENCE –– A Pawtucket man accused of beating his girlfriend to death and leaving her toddler to find the body was indicted Thursday by a grand jury for domestic murder.
Armando Garcia, 31, is accused of killing 30-year-old Brooke Verdoia in late June as her 2-year-old daughter slept. He was also indicted for failing to report Verdoia’s death, and for stealing her SUV, which was found abandoned near the Prospect Heights housing projects, where the police found him hiding in a relative’s apartment. He’ll be arraigned on Dec. 29.
In a letter to a Journal reporter late last month, Garcia wrote (spelling and punctuation uncorrected): “i want you to know that im not that monster you think i am. im not a murderer and i would’ve never hurt brooke. We never had any conflict or negativity in our relations. … She was my friend, sister, and motivator in my goal for change in life.”
Garcia is currently serving five years at the Adult Correctional Institutions for violating his probation on a breaking-and-entering conviction. It was the latest in a long criminal record that included drug and assault charges.
Garcia and Verdoia had known each other since high school and had stayed friends, although they took different paths. Verdoia married young and had a daughter, Madison. Garcia was in and out of prison. As Verdoia’s marriage faltered in the last year, she and Garcia became involved.
Verdoia’s mother, Michelle Lavallee, said her daughter always cared for Garcia and wanted to help him, even celebrating when he stayed out of prison for a few months. It took the Pawtucket detectives a day to determine that Garcia was the suspect. “He gave me a life sentence without a daughter, and that baby a life without a mother,” Lavallee said.
On Thursday, when the attorney general’s office called her with the news of the indictment, Lavallee had been spending her 51st birthday arranging to have Verdoia’s ashes placed in a mausoleum at St. Francis Cemetery, in Pawtucket. The indictments, Lavallee said, “was the biggest birthday gift of my life. And the saddest.”
Lavallee had found her daughter’s body on her bed, with Madison sitting beside her mother’s battered head. She can’t forget what she saw.
But the little girl sees her mother in the sky. Now 3, Madison looks up at the stars each night and talks to her mother, Lavallee said.
“She’ll say, ‘Mems, let’s go out and say hi to Mom,’ ” Lavallee said.
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