Jury finds West Warwick man guilty of 2020 drive-by shooting that injured two
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced today that a West Warwick man was found guilty in Providence County Superior Court for his role in committing a 2020 drive-by shooting in North Providence that wounded two victims.
On Monday, October 17, 2022, following the conclusion of a week-long jury trial before Superior Court Justice Kristin E. Rodgers, the jury found Matthew Peckham (age 41) guilty of three counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, one count of conspiracy to commit assault with a dangerous weapon, one count of committing a drive-by shooting, and one count of conspiracy to commit a drive-by shooting.
The defendant will be sentenced at a later date in Providence County Superior Court.
“The widespread availability of illegal firearms, obtained by criminals in a variety of ways, is what is driving violence in our urban neighborhoods. For this defendant, his co-defendants, and far too many, the lives of other Rhode Islanders are effectively meaningless. For this defendant, and his co-defendants, disputes are to be settled in only one way: at the point of a gun,” said Attorney General Neronha. “Fortunately, in this case, no one was killed because of the defendant’s outrageous conduct, but the outcome could have easily been otherwise. In any event, as with his cohorts, off to state prison for him, to serve a long sentence derived from his own stupidity and recklessness. I am grateful for the jury’s verdict, and to the men and women of the North Providence Police Department for their outstanding work in this case and in so many others.”
During the trial, the State proved beyond a reasonable doubt that around midnight on September 13, 2020, the defendant, along with two co-defendants, shot and wounded two victims during a drive-by shooting in North Providence.
That evening, the defendant was the driver of a Chevrolet Equinox, carrying co-defendants, Tyler Smith and Skyler Poznanski, traveling on High Service Avenue in the vicinity of Fatima Hospital. The defendants fired upon three individuals from their SUV, wounding two, before driving away.
Investigators from the North Providence Police Department spoke to the victims, who sustained non-life-threatening leg and arm wounds and identified the defendants as suspects. Several hours later, the Massachusetts State Police arrested Mathew Peckham and Skyler Poznanski in Somerset, Mass. Several days later, the Rhode Island State Police Violent Fugitive Task Force arrested Tyler Smith in Woonsocket.
Investigators also recovered two firearms the defendants hid in a Dodge Charger rental car following the shooting – a Kel-Tec 9mm semi-automatic handgun and a Hi Point 9mm semi-automatic handgun. The Hi-Point was later confirmed by the Rhode Island State Crime Lab to be a ballistic match to shell casings recovered from the scene.
On July 28, 2022, Skyler Poznanski was convicted for his role in the drive-by shooting and sentenced to 30 years, with 15 years to serve at the ACI. On December 16, 2021, Tyler Smith was convicted for his role in the incident and sentenced to 10 years to serve at the ACI. Both Poznanski and Smith implicated Matthew Peckham in the drive-by shooting and testified for the State during Peckham’s trial.
“The North Providence Police Department works tirelessly to protect our community, keep our streets safe, and bring justice to those who commit these senseless and violent crimes,” said North Providence Police Chief Alfredo Ruggiero, Jr. “I applaud the work of the men and women of our department for their work investigating this case, and the Office of the Attorney General as our partner in seeking justice for victims.”
Special Assistant Attorneys General Daniel Hopkins and Michael Marinelli of the Office of the Attorney General and Detectives Matt Phelan and Chris Cote of North Providence Police Department led the investigation and prosecution of the case.