A Rhode Island man was charged with murder and assault with a deadly weapon in the death of an Army veteran just hours after the suspect’s 18th birthday.
Erico Montalvo, 18, allegedly stabbed and killed Colby Mendonca, 26, of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and wounded his friend Russell Gleason, 25, in a fight that took place behind a Walgreen pharmacy in Providence, Rhode Island.
Montalvo reportedly struck Mendonca’s truck and then attempted to flee the scene. Mendonca and his friends were trying to buy alcohol from an alleged bootlegger in the store’s parking lot before the fight broke out, according to court documents obtained by Eyewitness News.
Kevin Martins, Mendonca’s cousin, told WJAR, “The guy gets out, starts stabbing his (Mendonca’s) best friend, so my cousin, like the hero he is, he gets out, pulls the guy off him, didn’t know he had a knife on him, and he proceeded to stab my cousin.”
“This is not supposed to happen, you know?” Martins said. “I mean, he fought in a war, you know. He’s here on our soil. This is crazy. It’s ridiculous.
When officers arrived they found Mendonca, a father of a 3-year-old girl and an infantry veteran who served in Afghanistan for two years. He was unresponsive and later died at Rhode Island Hospital.
“This man went over there, gave up two years of his life,” one of Mendonca’s friends, James Barata, told WJAR. “Didn’t get to see his daughter crawl. Didn’t get to enjoy that moment. He comes back here and dies on our home soil. Our home soil. He didn’t deserve this. Nobody does."
Gleason, who was also Mendonca’s roommate, according to the Providence Journal, suffered stab wounds and was badly injured. He later helped police identify Montalvo.
According to WJAR, a judge ordered Montalvo to be held without bail until his hearing on July 28. The prosecutor said that Montalvo already confessed to the crime. He showed no emotion as his charges were read to him before a judge on July 17, reports TheBlaze.
Mendonca, who was discharged from the Army last fall, was buried with full military honors, Daily Mail reports.