Following jury trial, Providence sentenced to 25 years in state prison for manslaughter

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced today that a Providence man was sentenced in Providence County Superior Court to serve 25 years at the Adult Correctional Institutions (ACI) for the stabbing and killing of 31-year-old Corey Vargas in 2020.


On February 2, 2024, Superior Court Justice Stephen P. Nugent sentenced Michael Domenech (age 38) to 30 years, with 25 to serve at the ACI, and a five-year suspended sentence with 30 years of probation. The Court also ordered the defendant to complete anger management and substance abuse treatment following the jail portion of his sentence.


On December 8, 2023, following the conclusion of a five-day jury trial, the defendant was found guilty of one count of manslaughter.


“Drugs and drug-related violence continue to plague our communities. In this instance, one man is dead, and another will now serve a significant prison sentence because of a dispute over fentanyl,” said Attorney General Neronha. “While no sentence can undo the damage of this tragic instance, or the perpetual pain caused by drugs in our cities and towns, I am glad to see the defendant held accountable. I want to thank the Providence Police and the prosecutors in my office for their hard work and collaboration in this case and countless others.”


During the trial, the State proved beyond a reasonable doubt that on September 24, 2020, the defendant killed Corey Vargas by stabbing him 13 times following a drug deal in Providence.


On that day, the victim arranged to buy drugs from the defendant near Swiss Street. The victim arrived at the meetup spot with two friends in a red Jeep Cherokee. When the defendant arrived, he entered the back seat of the Jeep to conduct the transaction. The defendant handed the victim approximately seven grams of fentanyl. The victim told the defendant he needed to retrieve a baggie to transfer the drugs into, exited the vehicle, and took off running.


Minutes later, the victim called his friend, the driver of the Jeep, to pick him up down the street from the original location. The driver drove to the victim’s new location, but unbeknownst to the victim, the defendant was still in the vehicle. The defendant exited the vehicle and stabbed the victim 13 times. The victim got back into the Jeep and his friend drove him to a nearby fire station on Atwells Avenue where rescue personnel attempted lifesaving measures. He was then transported to Rhode Island Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.


Police identified the defendant through nearby video surveillance footage and witness testimony, ultimately arresting him on October 10, 2020, as he attempted to cross the border into Mexico from California.


“I commend the men and women of the Providence Police Department for their tireless efforts to bring perpetrators of violent crimes and drug-related violence to justice,” said Providence Police Colonel Oscar L. Perez, Jr. “Preventing these crimes, and holding accountable those who commit them, is a key component to ensuring safety within our community. I applaud everyone involved in the investigation and prosecution of this case.”


Assistant Attorney General Daniel Carr Guglielmo and Special Assistant Attorney General Alyse Antone Smyth of the Office of the Attorney General and Detective Steve Sullivan of the Providence Police Department led the investigation and prosecution of the case.