PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced that a Providence man was sentenced last week in Providence County Superior Court to serve 13 years at the Adult Correctional Institutions (ACI) after pleading to felony charges stemming from his role in a 2019 armed home invasion on Sunbury Street in Providence.
Fernando Lopez (age 37), pleaded nolo contendere to three counts of assault with a dangerous weapon in a dwelling house with intent to rob, one count of conspiracy to commit assault with a dangerous weapon, and one count of possession of a firearm by a person prohibited.
At Friday’s hearing before Superior Court Justice Kristin E. Rodgers, the court sentenced Lopez to 25 years at the ACI with 13 years to serve and the balance of the sentence suspended with probation.
“Apparently unaware of the time-honored principle that every person’s home is their castle, Mr. Lopez and his accomplices engaged in the kind of criminal activity that puts lives in extraordinary danger,” said Attorney General Neronha. “Such conduct – forcing their way through the door into another’s home, at the point of multiple weapons, and then committing serious assaults against the victims – plainly warrants the lengthy sentence of imprisonment imposed by the court. The doors of the ACI will swing open for him and his previously sentenced co-defendants, and deservedly so.”
Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that on the evening of August 25, 2019, Lopez and three accomplices broke into a home on Sunbury Street in Providence, then proceeded to tie up a male occupant and assault both him and a female occupant with various weapons.
That evening, Lopez, along with Keila Rijos, Kayshawn Figueroa, and an alleged accomplice, Norman Ayala, forced their way through the front door of the home, armed with a BB gun and a knife. Lopez, Rijos, Figueroa, and their alleged accomplice then tied up the two occupants in the home before assaulting them.
Lopez, Rijos, Figueroa, and their alleged accomplice used blunt objects, including the handle of a refrigerator door found in the home, to beat one victim, causing significant injuries including a broken arm and bruising to the victim’s ribs and face.
Responding to reports of a disturbance at the address, members of the Providence Police Department apprehended Lopez, Rijos, Figueroa, and their alleged accomplice in the backyard of the Sunbury Street home as they were attempting to flee the scene.
“A great job was done by our officers who investigated this case, and we thank the Attorney General’s office for their support and partnership to ensure that these criminals received the lengthy sentences that they deserve,” said Steven M. Paré, Providence Commissioner of Public Safety. “The safety of our citizens is paramount to the Providence Police Department and there is never a place for violent assaults on members of our community. It is especially horrific when these types of crimes occur within one’s own home.”
Keila Rijos pleaded nolo contendere in Providence Superior Court on February 26, 2021 and was sentenced to 20 years at the ACI with 10 years to serve and the balance of the sentence suspended with probation.
Kayshawn Figueroa pleaded nolo contendere in Providence Superior Court on February 19, 2021 and was sentenced to 10 years at the ACI with 42 months to serve and the balance of the sentence suspended with probation.
Norman Ayala is currently being prosecuted by the Office of the Attorney General in Providence County Superior Court for his alleged role in the August 25, 2019 armed home invasion.
Special Assistant Attorney General Alison Bittl and Detectives Troy Lambert and David Harrington of the Providence Police Department led the investigation and prosecution of this case.