Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced today that a West Warwick man has been sentenced in Kent County Superior Court to serve 10 years in prison for robbing a Coventry liquor store with a pellet gun in 2021.
On September 7, 2023, Raymond Silva (age 56) entered a guilty plea to one count of first-degree robbery. Following his plea, Superior Court Justice David Cruise sentenced the defendant to 25 years, with 10 years to serve and a 15-year suspended sentence with probation.
Had the case proceeded to a trial, the State was prepared to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that on September 18, 2021, the masked defendant entered Bill’s Package Store on Main Street in Coventry, pointed a pellet gun at the clerk and owner, sprayed them both with pepper spray, and ordered them to get down on the floor as he rifled the cash register.
“Crimes like these are every business owner’s worst nightmare,” said Attorney General Neronha. “This disgruntled former employee violently assaulted his former colleagues, stole more than $4,000, and undoubtedly made surrounding communities feel unsafe. The punishment fits the crimes. I am grateful for the collaborative investigative work by both the Coventry and West Warwick Police Departments and commend the hard work by Special Assistant Attorney General John Malloy for his work on this case.”
At approximately 10:30 p.m., Coventry Police responded to a report of a possible robbery in progress at Bill’s Liquors on Main Street after receiving a 911 call from a passerby outside the store who heard a male yelling “get on the ground.” Upon arrival, the store owner and cashier reported being robbed at gunpoint by a masked robber, the defendant. They further reported that the robber attacked them with pepper spray, stole money from the cash register, and threw a wine bottle at the owner. The owner said that when the robber threw the bottle, he dropped some of the cash, and when he went to pick it up, he cut himself on broken glass before he fled through the back door. The owner also told police that the robber’s physical appearance and voice resembled that of a former employee, the defendant.
Coventry and West Warwick Police responded to the defendant’s nearby home on Wakefield Street and spoke with his girlfriend. Officers saw a silver Mitsubishi SUV, owned by the defendant’s girlfriend, with what appeared to be blood on the center console and several bags in a trash can. The defendant’s girlfriend consented to a search of her vehicle, and officers recovered a silver mask covered in blood, gloves covered with blood, two large knives with black handles, and a pellet gun magazine. She also consented to a search of the home she shared with the defendant. Officers observed a trail of blood droplets from the rear door of the home to the bathroom where they discovered a black semi-automatic pellet gun.
Investigators submitted DNA obtained from the blood collected from the crime scene, the defendant’s kitchen floor, and the center console of the vehicle. All three samples matched the DNA sample collected from the defendant’s buccal swab.
Special Assistant Attorney General John Malloy and Detectives Pedro Vieira, Jason Jordan, and Lieutenant Ryan DeSisto of the Coventry Police Department, as well as members from the West Warwick Police Department, led the investigation and prosecution of this case.
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