Bristol Woman Sentenced to 35 Years for 2017 Murder of Boyfriend’s Grandmother

Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced today that Selena Martinez, a 28-year-old woman from Bristol, has been sentenced to 35 years at the Adult Corrections Institutions (ACI) in Providence County Superior Court for the 2017 murder of her boyfriend’s 62-year-old grandmother, Eudora Gustafson.

Superior Court Justice Stephen P. Nugent delivered the sentence on January 31, 2024. Martinez received a 60-year full sentence, with 35 years to serve, and was ordered to pay $603 in restitution. Her guilty plea, entered on January 19, 2024, included charges of second-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, receiving stolen goods, forgery, and obtaining property under false pretenses.

Codefendant Raymond Paiva IV, aged 30, also entered a guilty plea on September 21, 2023, admitting to charges of murder, conspiracy to commit murder, receiving stolen goods, forgery, and obtaining property under false pretenses. Judge Nugent sentenced Paiva to a 60-year full sentence, with 40 years to serve at the ACI, and the remaining 20 years suspended with 60 years of probation on October 3, 2023.

“The defendant is a deeply troubled woman who senselessly murdered and robbed her boyfriend’s grandmother to obtain money to buy drugs, and the victim’s family is left to pick up the pieces, said Attorney General Neronha.  “I hope the sentence imposed by the court gives the victim’s loved ones some closure, and I hope the defendant gets the help she needs in prison.”

Had the case gone to trial, the state was prepared to prove that on February 10, 2017, Martinez killed Eudora Gustafson by asphyxiation, intending to rob her to obtain money for drugs. The incident occurred at the grandparents’ home on Sowams Drive in Bristol, where Martinez, under the influence of heroin, attacked Mrs. Gustafson to gain access to her car keys.

The assault involved the defendant and Paiva attacking Mrs. Gustafson with a pillow and a trash bag, which was drawn tightly around her neck. Martinez took the victim’s jewelry, half-dollar coins, and checkbook before fleeing in her car.

Later that evening, Martinez pawned the stolen jewelry in North Providence and bought heroin in Providence. The Providence Police Department apprehended her shortly thereafter. DNA evidence collected from the victim and the trash bag matched Martinez’s DNA.

Bristol Police Chief Kevin M. Lynch commended the hard work of detectives and officers in holding those responsible for senseless acts of violence accountable to ensure community safety. Assistant Attorney General John Moreira, Special Assistant Attorney General David Bonzagni, and the Bristol Police Department’s Lieutenant Steven St. Pierre, Detectives John Nappi, Adam Clifford, and Timothy Kearns led the investigation and prosecution of the case.




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