PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced today that a Pawtucket man was sentenced in Providence County Superior Court to serve 15 years at the Adult Correctional Institutions (ACI) after pleading to participating in a violent home invasion in Johnston in 2021 where a 30-year-old male occupant was shot and stabbed several times.
Deven Guernon (age 25) entered a plea of nolo contendere to one count of assault with a dangerous weapon with intent to rob, one count of first-degree robbery, and two counts of conspiracy.
At a hearing on November 4, 2022, before Superior Court Justice Robert D. Krause, the Court sentenced the defendant to 30 years, with 15 years to serve at the ACI, and a 15-year suspended sentence with 30 years of probation.
“When every Rhode Islander comes home and shuts the door behind them, their entirely reasonable expectation is that they are safe, and that any visitors, even the unexpected, will arrive with only good intentions. The defendant here flouted that principle, and to the extreme. To invade another’s home, armed with gun and knife, with the intent to steal the property of the homeowner, is simply outrageous. Such conduct deserves a heavy prison sentence, and I am grateful that the Court handed one down today,” said Attorney General Neronha. “I am also grateful to the men and women of Johnston Police Department for their outstanding work during the investigation of this case.”
Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that during the early morning hours of January 10, 2021, the defendant, along with an unidentified co-conspirator, broke into a residence in Johnston, where they shot and stabbed a 30-year-old male occupant before fleeing.
At approximately 3:45 a.m. the defendant and the unidentified co-conspirator broke into a residence on Atwood Avenue, in an attempt to steal marijuana and cash. During the robbery, they encountered the lone occupant and fought with him, slashing the victim several times with a knife in the chest, arm, and face. The fight ended abruptly when the co-conspirator shot the victim in his left thigh with a .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun, causing serious injuries that later required surgery.
The defendants stole approximately $1,000 in cash and a cell phone from the residence before fleeing. The firearm used in the shooting was never recovered.
During the ensuing investigation, members of the Johnston Police Department successfully identified the defendant as a suspect. Law enforcement later arrested the defendant in Denver, Colorado in January of 2021, where he was then extradited back to Rhode Island for prosecution.
“Detectives from the Johnston Police Department worked very diligently with the members of the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office to ensure that the defendant was brought to justice,” said Johnston Police Chief Joseph P. Razza. “I am very grateful for the work of the Attorney General’s office in prosecuting this matter and particularly proud of the work done by the detectives who worked to identify and arrest this criminal. The conviction and sentence will help to restore the sense safety once again.”
Detectives Anthony Sasso, John Deangelis, and Mark Bairos of the Johnston Police Department and Assistant Attorney General John Perrotta of the Office of the Attorney General led the investigation and prosecution of the case.