County Superior Court (P1/11-180C) Associate Justice Daniel
State: Christopher R. Bush Department of Attorney General.
Defendant: Jeffery Biolchini, Esq. J. Richard Ratcliffe, Esq.
Present: Suttell, C.J., Goldberg, Flaherty, Robinson, and
GILBERT V. INDEGLIA, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE
defendant, Luis Padilla (defendant or Padilla), appeals his
conviction of first-degree robbery following a Superior Court
jury-waived trial in Providence County. This matter came
before the Supreme Court on September 26, 2017, pursuant to
an order directing the parties to appear and show cause why
the issues raised should not be summarily decided. After
considering the arguments set forth in the parties'
memoranda and at oral argument, we are convinced that cause
has not been shown. Thus, further argument or briefing is not
required to decide this matter. For the reasons outlined
below, the Superior Court's judgment is affirmed.
Facts and Travel
appeal arises from an incident that occurred on July 24,
2010. On that date, Justin McFadden (complainant or
McFadden), as he had in the past, went to the
Crossroads' clinic for medical services. The events
that followed his arrival, however, interrupted his purpose
and instigated the criminal prosecution that is at issue in
testified that, when he arrived at Crossroads, he carried in
his pockets his bank cards, bus pass, approximately $500 in
cash, a necklace, and a bag of medication. He immediately
went downstairs to the clinic, but learned that he could not
be seen for at least another hour. He left and waited his
turn in an outdoor locker area, sitting on the concrete floor
with his back against a wall. He reported seeing two people,
later identified as Juan Lugo (Lugo) and Jackson Rivera
(Rivera),  about five to eight feet away, huddled
together and conversing in Spanish. McFadden observed them
for a short while before they turned to speak with a third
man, later identified as Padilla, waiting outside the
gate. One of the men walked over to Padilla, who
remained outside the gate, and both looked over at McFadden.
At that point, they were approximately seventeen feet away
from McFadden. From five to eight feet away, the third man
continued to look "right at" him.
point, all three men came together and "came at
[McFadden]." Approximately four feet before reaching
him, Padilla "broke off" from the group. Rivera and
Lugo continued towards McFadden, and Lugo "pulled out a
Rambo style knife and charged at [him]." After Lugo
pulled out the knife, McFadden recalled him saying
"I'm going to stab you" or "[g]ive what
you have, your money." Rivera reiterated that sentiment,
telling McFadden "[g]ive him the money."
a few seconds of these statements, Lugo stabbed McFadden in
his arm. Padilla then "rushed at [McFadden]."
McFadden remembered "[p]unching, kicking, whatever [he]
could do" to protect himself. He testified that he tried
to grab Lugo's arm. He remembered he "had a good
grip on [Lugo], " but Padilla "hit [him] and [he]
got turned around." Lugo then stabbed him multiple times
in the back. McFadden testified that he felt "[o]ne
gigantic [incision] and one not so gigantic [incision]."
Rivera then "was trying to go in [McFadden's]
pockets." Though in and out of consciousness at that
point, McFadden felt his belongings being removed from his
pockets. McFadden testified at trial that Padilla was the one
who "hit [him] like a linebacker" before going
through his pockets while he was on the ground. In his
statement to the grand jury six months after the incident,
McFadden had testified that Padilla "came up from behind
[him] pretty quickly" after he was stabbed in the arm.
He also noted that, while he wrestled Padilla, he "got a
good look at his face."
trial, McFadden testified that, following the stabbing, he
chased after the three men. As he ran, he recalled seeing and
hearing a woman, later identified as Frances Paban, who was
"very upset" "screaming" at Lugo,
"not in so many words saying you are an idiot, what are
you doing." McFadden recalled that a person grabbed him
from behind, attempting to stop his bleeding. Fire and rescue
soon arrived and transported him to the hospital. He awoke a
day or so later to learn that his kidney had been lacerated.
In addition, he had superficial wounds on his arm and back,
and an interior mesh had been inserted into his abdomen. He
was initially released from the hospital after one week, but
later hospitalized a second time after developing an
infection. He also spent six months using a walker upon his
after the attack, McFadden gave the police a recorded
statement wherein he reviewed three photo arrays to identify
his attackers. The police instructed McFadden to circle
anyone who participated in the attack, and to write the
nature of that person's involvement under his picture.
McFadden identified Rivera as the man who said "give me
the money" while approaching him alongside Lugo. In a
second photo array, McFadden selected Lugo as the man who
stabbed him. Finally, in a third photo array, McFadden
recognized Padilla, who he acknowledged "was
there." The police returned three days later to take
another statement, at which time McFadden confirmed the
previous photo identifications.