Providence man sentenced to serve 42 years in state prison for 2015 murder at Providence apartment building

 

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced that a Providence man was sentenced in Providence County Superior Court to serve 42 years at the Adult Correctional Institutions (ACI) after pleading to the 2015 murder of 54-year-old Zenaida Pacheco at an apartment building on Randall Street in Providence.

 

At a hearing on August 3, 2022, Superior Court Justice Richard Raspallo sentenced Efrain Blanco (age 38) to 60 years, with 42 years to serve at the ACI and an 18-year suspended sentence with probation. Earlier this year, on January 13, 2022, the defendant entered a plea of guilty to second-degree murder.

 

“The day has finally come when this defendant must pay the price for his senseless murder of Zenaida Pacheco, a woman much loved by her family and her community. Nothing can return Zenaida to her family, but we can deliver justice for her and for them, and that has now been achieved. The defendant has been removed from the community, to spend decades in confinement, his ability to harm others eliminated. He deserves every one of the 42 years imprisonment to which he has been sentenced,” said Attorney General Neronha. “The men and women of the Providence Police were again outstanding in their investigation of this case, and I am grateful for our ongoing law enforcement partnership.”

 

Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that on October 25, 2015, the defendant strangled Zenaida Pacheco to death in her apartment on Randall Street in Providence.

 

Providence Police detectives quickly identified a suspect based on evidence gathered during their investigation, including cell phone records and surveillance footage.

 

On November 4, 2015, investigators released photos of the suspect to media outlets, seeking help from the public to identify the suspect. Several weeks later, a member of the public identified the suspect as Efrain Blanco, who was apprehended by detectives shortly thereafter.

 

Investigators determined that the defendant used a power cord to strangle Zenaida Pacheco and confirmed the presence of the defendant’s DNA on the cord through laboratory testing.

 

“I commend the members of the Providence Police Department Detective Bureau for their investigation into this homicide, leading to the swift arrest of the subject responsible,” said Steven M. Paré, Providence Commissioner of Public Safety. “Through the comprehensive prosecution of this case conducted by our law enforcement partners at the Office of the RI Attorney General, the defendant involved in this heinous crime has been sentenced to the greatest extent possible, granting justice for the victim involved.”

 

Detectives from the Providence Police Department conducted the investigation, and Special Assistant Attorneys General Molly Kapstein Cote and Eric A. Batista lead the prosecution of the case.

 

South Carolina Senator Tim Scott says thousands are without power across the state as Ian makes landfall. Now a post-tropical cyclone, Ian landed as a hurricane in South Carolina earlier today and is moving up the East Coast. Scott says around 200-thousand people are without power, and that now is not the time to ease up worries.        The White House says the federal response to Hurricane Ian is not about politics. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre [[ kar-EENE jhan-pea-AIR ]] declined to offer an opinion about whether Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is doing a good job in his storm-ravaged state. Jean-Pierre noted DeSantis and President Biden have had several productive phone conversations.        Former President Trump is scheduled to be deposed next month in a defamation lawsuit. A woman named E. Jean Carroll has accused Trump of sexually assaulting her in the 1990s, and says she plans to file a separate civil suit against Trump on top of the defamation suit. The former President has denied Carroll's allegation that he assaulted her.       The CDC says it has "moderate" confidence the rate of monkeypox cases in the U.S. will either decline or plateau within the next two weeks. In its latest report on the outbreak, the CDC said cases could either decline or plateau, or begin rising "slowly" or "rapidly" with exponential growth.        A high-profile trial stemming from last year's Capitol riot is expected to begin soon. Yahoo News reports jury selection has ended in the trial of Stewart Rhodes, who is charged with seditious conspiracy for his role in the attack. Rhodes is the leader of the Oath Keepers militia group who authorities say helped plan the riot and called for civil war. He's one of five defendants in the trial that'll start next week.       Cleveland Browns star Myles Garrett says his recent car crash was a serious wake up call. The defensive end was going 20 miles over the speed limit when he crashed his car on Monday. Thankfully, both he and his passenger escaped relatively unscathed, with Garrett suffering a minor shoulder and bicep sprain.