Superior Court Justice Robert D. Krause sentenced Nigel Nichols (age 29), from Brockton MA, to four consecutive life sentences plus 40 years for the December 6, 2009 shooting on Dorrance Street in Providence that killed David Thomas (age 22) and Domingo Ortiz (age 21) and injured Dwayne Thomas, who was 18 years of age at the time.
Nichols was found guilty in February of two counts of murder, two counts of discharging a firearm resulting in death, one count of assault with a dangerous weapon, and one count of discharging a firearm resulting in injury.
During the course of the trial, the State proved that in the early morning hours of December 6, 2009, Nigel Nichols fired a .40 caliber Glock into the motor vehicle operated by David Thomas and occupied by passengers Domingo Ortiz and Dwayne Thomas.
The three victims had travelled from their homes in Boston to attend an area nightclub. After a pleasant and uneventful evening, the three men got into their vehicle and proceeded to head back to Boston. While stopped in traffic on Dorrance Street in front of the Garrahy Judicial complex, Nichols, without provocation, opened fire on the unsuspecting and innocent young men, executing David Thomas and Domingo Ortiz and seriously wounding Dwayne Thomas.
According to witnesses who testified at the trial, Nichols was upset over an earlier unrelated altercation and being teased by some of his friends that he was not as tough as an individual from Boston known as “Snags,” who at the time was charged with three murders in Boston. “Snags,” a friend of the defendant, was recently convicted of those murders.
Nichols and his friends fled the scene. Providence Police developed a break in the investigation in 2011 when a friend of Nichols and eyewitness to the murders, came forward. Aspects of his testimony were corroborated by other witnesses who testified at the trial.
“Just mere steps from the Garrahy courthouse, a place where justice is meted out each day, Nigel Nichols brazenly and without provocation executed two young men, one on leave from the United States Army, and injured another, showing no concern for the consequences and no remorse for the unbridled violence he exacted that day,” said Attorney General Peter Kilmartin. “It was a crime so unimaginable and so violent that the defendant deserves the maximum penalty allowed under the law.”
Providence Police Detective Angelo A’vant led the investigation, having taken it over from Detective John Muriel. Assistant Attorney General and Chief of the Criminal Division Stacey P. Veroni and Special Assistant Attorney General Roger Demers prosecuted the case on behalf of the Office of Attorney General.