Providence man found guilty of 2007 gang-related nightclub murder

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced today that a Providence man has been found guilty in Providence County Superior Court for the gang-related murder of 18-year-old Darren Reagans, who was stabbed to death outside of a Providence nightclub in 2007.


On May 1, 2023, following the conclusion of a two-week jury trial before Superior Court Justice Joseph A. Montalbano, the jury found Jayquan Garlington (age 33) guilty of murder and conspiracy to commit murder.


The defendant is currently being held at the Adult Correctional Institutions (ACI) serving a sentence for firearm possession, and now awaits a sentencing hearing on this charge to be scheduled at a later date.


“In some cases, the wheels of justice turn quickly, and in others, circumstances dictate otherwise,” said Attorney General Neronha. “I am grateful for the jury’s verdict in this case, which will no doubt result in decades of well-deserved prison time for this defendant. And once again, I commend the Providence Police investigators for their diligent, tireless work here and in so many other cases.”


During the trial, the State proved beyond a reasonable doubt that during the evening of July 4, 2007, the defendant stabbed and killed Darren Reagans during a gang-related brawl outside of La Rumba nightclub on Broad Street in Providence.


That evening, the victim, known by law enforcement to be a member of a local street gang called Comstock, was waiting in line to enter La Rumba. Subsequently, the defendant, known by law enforcement to be a member of a rival local street gang called YNIC, approached the line with fellow gang members. The defendant and his fellow gang members noticed the victim in the line, exchanged words, and attacked the victim.


During the attack, the participants moved into an adjacent parking lot. It was there that the victim collapsed after suffering a stab wound. The defendant and his fellow gang members fled the scene and the victim was taken to Rhode Island Hospital, where he died a short time later.


The medical examiner ruled the cause of death to be a stab wound to the chest that pierced the victim’s heart.


At trial, prosecutors presented evidence that several years after the murder, the defendant recorded a rap song containing a lyric in which prosecutors argued referenced and admitted to the murder, as well as other lyrics that referenced other gang-related killings.


The defendant was indicted for the murder of Darren Reagans in 2017 following his arrest by the Providence Police Department.


“I want to thank our detectives and the Attorney General’s Office for their exhaustive investigative efforts in this case, and am pleased that today justice was served,” said Providence Police Chief Oscar Perez. “The violent, senseless behavior of this defendant will never be tolerated in our community, and I am thankful for the lengthy prison sentence he will undoubtedly face.”


Assistant Attorneys General James Baum and Timothy Healy of the Office of the Attorney General and Detective Angelo A’vant of the Providence Police Department led the investigation and prosecution of the case.