Providence man sentenced to life in state prison for 2021 laundromat murder
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced today that a Providence man has been sentenced in Providence County Superior Court to life in prison for the 2021 murder of 38-year-old Melbin Ricardo Perez Reyes.
At a hearing on November 10, 2023, before Superior Court Justice Kristin E. Rodgers, Johan Quinones (age 24) entered a plea of nolo contendere to one count of murder, one count of using a firearm while committing a crime of violence, and one count of carrying a pistol without a license. Judge Rodgers sentenced the defendant to life in prison, followed by a consecutive 10-year sentence to be served at the Adult Correctional Institutions (ACI).
Had the case proceeded to a trial, the State was prepared to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that on October 12, 2021, the defendant shot and killed Melbin Ricardo Perez Reyes during an attempted robbery in a Providence laundromat.
“When gun violence happens so often, we become numb to the endless stories of death and injury by guns,” said Attorney General Neronha. “We must remember each victim had a life and a reason for living. Melbin was the father of three boys and worked hard every day with a goal of saving up enough money to one day build a home for his family. That dream was shattered the day this defendant shot and killed Melbin for a piece of jewelry. I hope his family is able to find some peace as a result of this sentence. And I thank the Providence Police for their partnership in this case and so many others.”
On the evening of October 12, 2021, the defendant visited a Laundromax on Broad Street in Providence. While sitting in a vehicle outside of the laundromat, the defendant observed the victim enter the establishment wearing a large gold chain. A short while later, the defendant entered the laundromat and approached the victim from behind, pulling out a firearm and pushing it against the victim’s back. The defendant then demanded the victim’s gold chain and attempted to pull it off his neck. During a brief struggle, the victim unsuccessfully tried to grab the gun and the defendant shot the victim in the chest, ultimately killing him.
Through still frames from the laundromat’s video surveillance system, investigators positively identified the defendant as the shooter.
“Unfortunately, this is what often happens when firearms get into the hands of violent criminals,” said Providence Police Colonel Oscar L. Perez Jr. “While there is no justice that can undo the pain caused to this victim’s family, I hope that this sentencing helps them feel that justice was served. I also want to thank our hardworking officers and investigators, as well as our partners at the Attorney General’s Office.”
Special Assistant Attorneys General Jonathan Burke and Edward G. Mullaney of the Office of the Attorney General and Detectives Jared Sherman, Matthew McGloin, and Theodore Michael (fmr.) of the Providence Police Department led the investigation and prosecution of the case.