Police Log 11-02-23

Posted 11/2/23

Child shot in Cranston, father arrested

A Cranston man has been arrested and charged following the “accidental” shooting of his four-year-old son, according to Cranston Police Chief …

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Police Log 11-02-23


Child shot in Cranston, father arrested

A Cranston man has been arrested and charged following the “accidental” shooting of his four-year-old son, according to Cranston Police Chief Col. Michael J. Winquist.

The child was shot at their residence in Cranston on Oct. 31. At 10:12 a.m. the Cranston Fire Department received 911 calls that a four-year-old boy had been shot at 25 Queen St., according to police.

“The caller indicated the father was responsible for the shooting,” Winquist said in a press release. “Patrol Officers arrived to find Michael A. Jones, age 33, holding his son with an apparent gunshot wound to his head.”

The boy was transported by rescue to Hasbro Children’s Hospital, where he remains in critical condition after undergoing emergency surgery, police said.

Jones was taken into custody and transported to Cranston Police Headquarters.

“An investigation conducted by members of the Cranston Police Special Victims Unit revealed that Jones was inside a second-floor bedroom of his apartment handling a loaded firearm described as a 9-millimeter handgun,” police said. “According to Jones, he accidentally discharged the gun, causing a single round to travel through the wall and strike his son in the head in an adjacent room.”

The child’s grandfather, who resides on the first floor, called 911 for medical help.

Police executed a court-authorized search warrant at the home and report finding “a loaded 9-millimeter believed to have been used in the shooting.”

Jones had been previously convicted of a felony assault was sentenced to a two-year suspended sentence and probation on June 1, 2022. The sentence prohibited Jones from possessing a firearm, according to police.

“How Jones acquired the gun remains under investigation,” Winquist said in the press release.

He was to be arraigned at Cranston Police Headquarters on the following charges: Felony Assault, Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person (Convicted of a Crime of Violence), and Firing in a Compact Area.  A prosecutor from the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office will argue Jones violated his suspended sentence, according to police.

“This case is particularly difficult for all involved given the age of the victim and highlights the need to keep firearms out of the hands of prohibited individuals,” Winquist said. “A tragedy like this hits home with our first responders, many of whom have children of their own. Our thoughts are with the young boy and his family as he fights for survival.”

Woonsocket woman sentenced following deadly DUI crash in Warwick

Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Neronha recently announced that a Woonsocket woman has been sentenced in Kent County Superior Court to serve eight years at the Adult Correctional Institutions (ACI) after pleading to driving under the influence and causing a crash that killed 25-year-old Caleb Winfrey in 2021, according to a press release from his office.

At a hearing on Oct. 19, before Superior Court Justice David Cruise, Audriana Hill, 33, entered a plea of nolo contendere to one count of driving under the influence, death resulting. Cruise sentenced the defendant to 15 years, with eight years to serve at the ACI, and a seven-year suspended sentence, with 15 years of probation.

“This case is a tragic example of the utter destruction that driving under the influence can cause,” Neronha said. “Caleb Winfrey was a promising young man with his whole life ahead of him and his death is every parent’s worst nightmare realized. The defendant’s decision to drive drunk caused Caleb’s family the worst kind of pain imaginable, and I commend the courage they demonstrated when Caleb’s father provided a victim impact statement in Court. I am grateful to the Warwick Police Department and the Rhode Island State Police for their outstanding work and partnership in this case and so many others.”

Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that on Dec. 7, 2021, the defendant drove under the influence of alcohol and caused a crash that killed Winfrey, according to the AG’s press release.

Around 5:51 p.m. that evening, Warwick Police responded to a report of a motor vehicle crash with injuries at the intersection of West Natick Road and Bald Hill Road.

“Prior to the crash, the defendant was travelling south on Bald Hill Road in a 2021 Kia K5 at approximately 81 mph, and according to the subsequent crash investigation, never applied the brakes before crashing into the victim in his 2016 Toyota Corolla,” according to the AG’s press release. “Rescue personnel arrived first on scene and transported both parties involved in the crash to Rhode Island Hospital after extracting the defendant from her vehicle using the jaws of life. In the ambulance, witnesses found two empty nips in the defendant’s clothes and described an odor of alcohol emanating from her breath.”

Police officers followed the rescue vehicles to the hospital and went to the defendant’s critical care room, where they observed her having bloodshot eyes as she spoke to them, according to Neronha’s office.

The defendant then consented to a chemical blood test, and the results showed a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.165% at the time of the test, according to prosecutors.

“Meanwhile, investigators remained on scene to reconstruct the crash by collecting physical and photographic evidence,” according to the AG’s press release. “Officers discovered four open containers of alcohol near the defendant’s vehicle. Additionally, an independent witness described seeing the defendant drive through a ‘solid’ red light before hitting the victim.”

“This tragedy was completely avoidable, and unfortunately we see impaired driving cases like this one all too often,” said Warwick Police Chief Col. Bradford E. Connor. “While there is no justice that can undo the pain caused to this victim’s family, I commend their bravery in making sure the defendant was held accountable. I also want to thank our officers and investigators, as well as our partners at the Attorney General’s Office, for their investigation and prosecution of this case.”

Assistant Attorney General John Corrigan handled the prosecution of the case, aided by an investigation led by members of the Warwick Police Department, with collision reconstruction assistance from the Rhode Island State Police.

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