Providence man convicted for murder at Broad Street restaurant

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced today that a Providence man has been found guilty in Providence County Superior Court of murder and related assault and firearms counts stemming from the 2021 murder of 38-year-old Jorge Garcia at Roque’s Café on Broad Street.

On March 15, 2024, following the conclusion of a 14-day jury trial before Superior Court Justice Kristen E. Rodgers, the jury found Juan Rivera (age 37) guilty of one count of murder; one count of conspiracy to commit murder; one count of discharge of a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence, resulting in death; one count of carrying a pistol without a license; one count of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person; and one count of assault with a deadly weapon.

The defendant is currently being held without bail at the Adult Correctional Institutions (ACI) pending his sentencing hearing to be held at a later date.

“Gun violence happens so often that we can become numb to the endless stories of death and injury by firearms,” said Attorney General Neronha. “We must remember each victim had a life and a reason for living, and continue to fight for common sense gun laws that keep our communities safe. I hope this victim’s family is able to find some semblance of peace as a result of this verdict. And I thank the Providence Police for their partnership in this case and so many others.”

During the trial, the State proved beyond a reasonable doubt that on the morning of September 25, 2021, at approximately 8:56 a.m., a masked person wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with distinct white lettering walked into Roque’s Café and shot the victim six times, killing him.

In the days following, investigators obtained video surveillance of the restaurant and the surrounding areas. They also seized surveillance footage from Wiggins Village, Jones Moving Company, Pearl Street Lofts, and several other nearby establishments, by which they pieced together the suspect’s movements prior to, and following, the shooting.

Through the footage, investigators identified two vehicles involved in the shooting: a maroon Toyota Corolla and a black Dodge Ram. As seen on the video footage, the two vehicles met up prior to the shooting, at which time the driver of the Ram exited the truck and entered the Corolla. The Corolla is next seen at Wiggins Village, where the driver parks the vehicle and both individuals exited and ran in the direction of Roque’s Café minutes before the shooting. The surveillance also captured the suspect running back to Wiggins Village after the shooting, re-entering the Corolla, and driving away.

Furthermore, investigators conducted a forensic analysis of the defendant’s cell phone on September 25, 2021, and tracked the defendant’s location from his residence to Broad Street, where Roque’s restaurant is located, at the time of the murder.

Finally, investigators obtained a photo of the defendant taken prior to the murder in which he is wearing the same distinct sweatshirt and sneakers as captured by surveillance cameras.

“Removing firearms from our streets and out of the hands of violent criminals is a top priority to the women and men of the Providence Police Department,” said Providence Police Colonel Oscar L. Perez Jr. “There is no justice that can undo the pain and suffering the victim’s family has endured, but I hope that this verdict allows them some semblance of peace. I commend the outstanding work conducted by our officers and investigators, as well as our partners at the Attorney General’s Office.”

Assistant Attorney General Robert E. Johnson of the Office of the Attorney General and Detectives Theodore Michael (retired), Michael Otrando (retired), Matthew Nadeau, Edward Regine, and Sergeant Terence Greene of the Providence Police Department led the investigation and prosecution of the case.