Providence County Superior Court (P2/15-3731AG) Associate
Justice Robert D. Krause
State: Owen Murphy Department of the Attorney General
Defendant: Jodi M. Gladstone, Esq.
Present: Suttell, C.J., Goldberg, Flaherty, Robinson, and
A. SUTTELL CHIEF JUSTICE
defendant, Michael Stokes, appeals from a Superior Court
judgment of conviction on three counts of assault with a
dangerous weapon, in violation of G.L. 1956 § 11-5-2,
for which he was sentenced to three concurrent fifteen-year
sentences; three counts of discharging a firearm while
committing a crime of violence, in violation of G.L. 1956
§ 11-47-3.2(b)(2), for which he was sentenced to three
concurrent twenty-year sentences, which are to run
consecutive to the sentences for the assault with a dangerous
weapon convictions; and one count of carrying a pistol
without a license, in violation of § 11-47-8(a), for
which he was sentenced to a term of five years'
imprisonment, to run concurrently with the sentences for the
discharging-a-firearm convictions. The defendant was also
sentenced as a habitual offender to twenty-five years, with
fifteen years to serve and the remainder suspended, with
probation, to run consecutive to the sentences for the
discharging-a-firearm convictions. The defendant seeks to
have his convictions vacated, and asks this Court to grant
him a new trial on the following grounds: (1) the state
untimely disclosed the identity of two witnesses who were
placed in witness protection; (2) the trial justice erred in
admitting into evidence prior inconsistent statements made to
the police by one witness; and (3) the trial justice erred in
denying the defendant's motion for a new trial. For the
reasons set forth herein, we affirm the judgment of the
early hours of October 17, 2015, three people were shot
inside El Tiburon, a small Providence sports bar with a few
pool tables and a jukebox, located at the intersection of
Harold and Valley Streets.
Tager was one of the three victims. She testified at trial
that she and a friend had arrived sometime between midnight
and 12:30 a.m. She was standing by the pool tables near the
back door when, "out of nowhere [she] heard a gunshot[,
]" then she "heard a series of gunshots."
Tager ran outside and, moments later, realized she had been
shot in the leg.
second victim, Dwayne "Fat Cat" Monteiro, testified
that he arrived with a friend at El Tiburon around 1:30 a.m.
for a nightcap after having had a few drinks at a
friend's house and smoking marijuana. Monteiro testified
that, as he was "enjoying [his] drink, some dude walked
by [him] and nudged [him] with his shoulder." Monteiro,
who is about six feet tall, testified that the person who
bumped into him was a black male about as tall as
Monteiro's shoulders. Shortly thereafter, Monteiro was
shot five times. His next memories were of hearing people
running and screaming, the presence of an ambulance, and
being tended to by a lady.
Huntley was the third person shot that night. When she was
shot, she was standing by the bar waiting for her friend. In
a statement Huntley gave to the police while at the hospital,
she said that she felt a burning sensation in her leg, and
retreated to the men's bathroom during the chaos caused
by the shooting. At that point, she saw that she was bleeding
and spotted a bullet on the bathroom floor.
Haynes was also at El Tiburon that night. At the time of
trial, she was thirty-two years old. Haynes, a nursing
student, was meeting two friends at El Tiburon to talk
through a disagreement her friends were having. When she
arrived at around 12:30 a.m., Haynes and her friends first
spoke outside El Tiburon, then entered the bar. Inside,
people were drinking and chatting-Haynes described it as
"a regular bar situation." Because people were
playing loud music at the jukebox, Haynes, her friends, and
her ex-boyfriend who was also present, had difficulty hearing
each other. Haynes bought a drink from the bar and sat near
one of the pool tables with her friends and ex-boyfriend.
first noticed defendant, whom she later identified in court,
when defendant bumped into Haynes's friend, spilling her
friend's drink. Haynes testified that the person was a
black male, about her height or a little taller, wearing
black Levi jeans and a black top.
noticed that defendant and another man were having "an
exchange of words[.]" She slid down the pool table to
avoid any chance of confrontation between the two
individuals. Haynes heard defendant say, "Yeah, okay,
motherfucker[, ]" and saw him walk towards the exit.
to Haynes, defendant then "unleashed the firearm and
started shooting." Haynes saw defendant fire two rounds
before she ran to the corner with an ATM and ducked down.
After firing about five rounds, defendant exited through the
Harold Street exit. As Haynes was leaving, she saw a victim
bleeding on the floor. Haynes testified that, as a nursing
student, she felt compelled to stop and help him.
three victims gave statements to the police after the
shooting, although, in their statements, only one could
identify the shooter. Tager spoke to the police about two
months after the shooting. Monteiro refused to discuss the
incident with the police until just prior to trial, despite
their efforts to quickly obtain a statement. Neither Monteiro
nor Tager could identify the shooter. Huntley, however, was
able to identify defendant as the shooter because she had
known him for a few years. Huntley gave a statement to
Detective Brian Dyer on October 21, 2015, while she was still
in the hospital for treatment of her gunshot wound. In her
statement to police, not only did she identify defendant as