PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A Pawtucket man was sentenced to life in prison for shooting and killing a man in downtown Providence back in 2018, according to Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha.
Pofinima Gweama, 33, pleaded guilty Monday to first-degree murder, first-degree robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, and discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence resulting in injury in the shooting death of 30-year-old David Long.
On Dec. 26, 2018, Neronha said Gweama, Long and three other men were returning to Providence from a nightclub in Lawrence.
Throughout the drive, Gweama and two of the men devised a plan to rob Long at gunpoint outside of his apartment, according to prosecutors.
Neronha said Gweama and the other suspects coordinated the armed robbery via text message. Those texts included discussing the seating arrangement of the passengers, the valuables each passenger likely possessed and instructions to “act scary.”
Long and the driver were both shot during the robbery, according to prosecutors.
Neronha said the injured driver transported Long to Rhode Island Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Gweama was identified as a suspect and arrested after detectives found his cellphone and identification at the crime scene, according to prosecutors. Investigators never recovered the gun used to kill Long.
“Senseless violence – there is just no other way to describe this case,” Noronha said. “This was a planned robbery, and the ready availability of and willingness to use a firearm to effectuate that robbery resulted in the death of David Long.”
“[Gweama’s] conduct plainly warrants the life sentence he received,” he added.
In addition to the life sentence, Gweama was given a consecutive 20-year suspended, nonparolable sentence.
One of the other men involved, identified as 31-year-old Walter Kpan, was also arrested in connection with the crime.
Kpan has been charged with first-degree murder, carrying a dangerous weapon/substance while committing a crime of violence, carrying a pistol or revolver without a license, and conspiracy.