Suspect in deadly convenience store stabbing held without bail


WEST WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — A man suspected of stabbing and killing another man in North Providence over the weekend appeared in court Monday.

Christopher Carbajal, 27, is being held without bail at the ACI as the case heads to a grand jury. The judge is also expected to order a competency evaluation.

Carbajal faces charges of murder, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest in the death of Brian Cervini, 60.

Police say Cervini was stabbed multiple times on Saturday inside a convenience store on Smith Street and later died from his injuries at Rhode Island Hospital.

Emotions boiled over in the courtroom Monday as police described what happened to Cervini. Members of his family screamed at Carbajal, who offered no reaction.

According to police, Carbajal walked into the store and went into the bathroom, and a few minutes later, Cervini entered and started making a coffee.

As Cervini headed to the counter to pay, Carbajal left the restroom.

“He then proceeds to put his hood on his jacket, take out a large knife and stab the victim twice in the back,” North Providence Detective William Shurick said. “The victim proceeds to fight back at which time he collapses on the floor, and this defendant proceeds to attack him while he is on the floor.”

The suspect then ran off, but police say some quick-thinking witnesses followed.

“I want to credit not only our officer, but the witnesses that directed our officers to where the suspect was located, so they were able to make a quick apprehension,” North Providence Police Chief Arthur Martins said.

The motive for the stabbing is currently unclear. At this point, police say it appears to be a random attack.

Police said Carbajal was known to them and occasionally resides in North Providence.

Court records show he has a criminal record dating back to 2015, including arrests for felony assault, vandalism and disorderly conduct. At the time of his arrest, he was on probation for a weapons violation from last year.

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