Pawtucket murder victim was beloved YMCA employee

Blackstone Valley

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — The victim of a New Year’s Day murder in Pawtucket is being remembered as a dedicated member of the community.

Cheryl Smith, 54, was gunned down inside her home on Baxter Street Wednesday evening.

Smith was an employee at the Heritage Park YMCA’s childcare center, according to the YMCA’s CEO Charlie Clifford.

Clifford tells Eyewitness News that they’ve lost a member of their Y family.

In a letter to YMCA members, Clifford said their immediate concern is for Smith’s family — for which they are offering full access to Y resources. The YMCA is also offering grief counseling to its members.

“As we continue to process this devastating news, we remain vigilant in our dedication to serving as a pillar for the entire Pawtucket community,” Clifford said in the letter.

The suspects in Smith’s murder, Jack Doherty, 23, and Shaylyn Moran, 18, were ordered held without bail during their arraignments Thursday afternoon.

Jack Doherty and Shaylyn Moran, courtesy of Pawtucket Police

Police have not revealed a motive for the shooting, but tell Eyewitness News Moran had previously been in a relationship with Smith’s 21-year-old son, Leonard S. Troufield.

Police said in October 2019, there was a domestic and disorderly simple assault incident between Troufield and Moran.

Soon after the shooting, the couple was tracked to the Hampton Inn on George Street where they were taken into custody.

A 9 mm handgun was also seized from their motel room and police tell Eyewitness News it was not a type of gun they typically see.

Police said the gun will be sent out for forensic testing and examination to determine the type and if it’s registered.

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