Providence murder suspect, who was released on bail, has been charged again
PROVIDENCE — A murder suspect whose bail sparked an outcry is facing new allegations that he tried to contact his ex-girlfriend to back down on her account of the shooting.
State prosecutors on Thursday charged Andrew Mangru, 22, of Pawtucket, with obstruction of justice; soliciting another person to commit a crime; and attempting to breach a no-contact order by asking his mother to persuade his ex-girlfriend to retract her statement about the shooting death of 23-year-old Andrei Bonilla.
Authorities say Mangru shot and killed Bonilla, a field service technician for IGT who ran a clothing line called “Rise Above Hate,” around 2 a.m. on August 28 after finding him in a car with his ex. – girlfriend, the mother of her 2 -year old son. Mangru was also accused of beating her at the scene. He pleaded not guilty to the crimes.
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“I want you to understand that it’s only been a while since she’s had to work things out,” he wrote to his mother in a letter sent in early December from adult correctional facilities. . if she goes that’s all for me mami…. If she backs out before my bail hearing, you can walk away and this case would drop. BELIEVE ME! Mom, you need to talk to her before she goes to that hearing or I’m done.
An order was issued prohibiting Mangru from contacting the ex-girlfriend after her arrest in September. The Journal does not identify the woman because she is the alleged victim of domestic assault.
Mangru pleaded not guilty to the new charges when arraigned Monday before Superior Court Judge Kristin E. Rodgers.
He has been free from house arrest since mid-February after Rodgers agreed to release him on $10,000 bail with conditions, over objections from state prosecutors.
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Rodgers stressed that the purpose of bail is to ensure a defendant appears in court, but must weigh whether he would pose a danger to the community or a flight risk. Mangru faces up to two consecutive life sentences if convicted.
“While the severity of the sentence in this case is indeed high if he were to be sentenced, being consecutive life sentences, this court is satisfied that Mr. Mangru’s house arrest bond will appropriately prevent the ‘accused to withdraw from the jurisdiction, which protects the community and the witnesses from any danger that he could undoubtedly pose, and this ensures his presence in court,’ the judge said.
She ordered Mangru not to contact his ex-girlfriend during the January 26 hearing. She warned that this would be a breach of her bail conditions and that her home confinement would be revoked.
A new bail hearing is scheduled for Monday in the Mangru murder case. His attorneys, Sarah Potter and Elizabeth Payette, did not immediately respond to an inquiry Wednesday. Rodgers declined to comment through a court spokesperson.
Rodgers’ decision to release Mangru and Quelon Page, 31, accused of shooting Tyreik Grundy, 25, on May 14 on bail has sparked an outcry. Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza and Providence police officials joined relatives of Bonilla and Grundy at a press conference in January to denounce the decision.
” It’s scandalous. This is unacceptable and we hope that in the future judges will not allow bail in these kinds of cases,” said Elorza, who knew one of the young men who died and is a lawyer trained in Harvard.
The press conference drew criticism from the Rhode Island Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Rhode Island Bar Association. Both groups have accused Elorza and Public Safety Commissioner Steven Paré of profiting from the families’ grief in cases where the judge’s role is to rule on facts and law, in the absence of emotional considerations.
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The defense lawyers’ association board called Elorza’s and Paré’s statements “alarming” and an affront to the Constitution and the legal principle that everyone, even an accused person of a capital crime such as murder, is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
It’s unclear how Mangru’s recent accusations will factor into Judge Rodgers’ decision-making.
The charges relate to charges that took place in December, just as his multi-day bail hearing was due to begin.
According to State Department of Corrections investigators, Mangru’s note appeared on their radar on Dec. 20, when it was returned to AIT with a return-to-sender notice, which he didn’t. There was no “mail receptacle” at the address he had used for his mother. in New Hampshire.
Investigators questioned Mangru after reading him his rights on December 21. They alleged that Mangru admitted to trying to reach his child’s mother through his own mother, but said he did not believe he had done anything wrong.
He disputed the allegations a few days later, saying he had written to his mother several times in the past without issue. “The only reason letters are returned is because of address issues and I know my mum’s address.”
He asked to appeal the findings.