Superior Court Justice Netti C. Vogel sentenced Michael Patino (age 33) to life in prison for the October 2009 beating death of six-year-old Marco Nieves. Patino was convicted of second degree murder by a Providence County Superior Court jury on April 28, 2015.
“For nearly six years, the police and prosecutors have worked tirelessly to secure justice for six-year-old Marco Nieves,” said Attorney General Kilmartin. “There are few things as chilling as the death of an innocent child, except perhaps when that death is willfully caused by an adult who is entrusted with the child’s care. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with Marco’s family, and while today’s sentence will not end the pain they experience every day since his death, it is my sincerest hope they can take solace in knowing the defendant was sentenced to life in prison for taking Marco’s life.”
During the course of the trial, the State proved that on October 3, 2009, the defendant beat six-year-old Marco Nieves so severely that the child later died as a result of his injuries.
On the morning of October 4, 2009, six-year-old Marco Nieves was found unresponsive and not breathing by his mother, Trisha Oliver, and the defendant inside her apartment at 575 Dyer Avenue, Cranston and thereafter called E-911. Cranston Fire and Rescue arrived and immediately transported Marco to Hasbro Children’s Hospital and alerted hospital emergency personnel that Marco was in full cardiac arrest. The boy was pronounced dead 11 hours later.
During the trial, former Rhode Island Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas Gilson testified that the child died as a result of peritonitis, or inflammation of the abdominal cavity, caused by blunt force trauma to his abdomen that caused a tear in his intestine. Dr. Gilson and Dr. Linda Snelling, Chief of Pediatric Critical Care at Hasbro Children’s Hospital, both testified that Marco had other inflicted injuries on his body.
Also at trial, more than two dozen text messages sent by Patino to Trisha Oliver, in which he admitted striking and hitting Marco, were introduced as evidence. In one of the messages, Patino wrote, “I TOLD U. I WENT 2 PUNCH HIM ON HIS BACK AGAIN AND HE MOVED AND I HIT HIM ON HIS STOMACH,” and in a another he wrote, “I HIT HIM DA SAME WAY EVERYWHERE BUT ITS DAT HE MOVED AND I HIT HIM BAD.” In an additional message, Patino wrote, “I PUNCH DAT LIL BITCH 3 TIMES AND DAT WAS IT. DA HARDEST 1 WAS ON HIS STOMACH CUZ HE MOVED. BUT LET HIM B A MAN AND NOT A LIL BITCH LIKE U.”
Cranston Police Detectives John Cardone and Jean-Paul Slaughter led the investigation. Assistant Attorney