PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The suspect in a deadly hit-and-run over the weekend faced a judge Monday morning.
Domingo Grave-Castro, 40, has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death.
He turned himself in Sunday, hours after police say he struck Violet Barracks, 76, as she crossed Union Avenue near the Route 10 off-ramp, then drove off.
In the courtroom, Grave-Castro was sitting behind Barracks’ family before his arraignment began. He posted bail over the weekend, and on Monday was ordered to surrender his passport and not drive.
Barracks is the aunt of state Rep. Marcia R. Ranglin-Vassell and Lisa Ranglin, president of the Rhode Island Black Business Association.
“We walked into that courtroom not knowing what to expect, that is outrageous,” Ranglin said.
“The person who murdered our aunt was sitting right behind us and we had no idea that was that person,” Ranglin-Vassell said. “I don’t understand, it’s very confusing and it tells me the system is broken.”
As Grave-Castro walked out of the courtroom, family members shouted at him, calling him a monster.
“How does that happen? When the family doesn’t even know he was granted bail,” Ranglin-Vassell said. “We will get justice for auntie. There is no question about it and we are also going to work for changes.”
Police said Grave-Castro was traveling at a high rate of speed. Witnesses saw him make an illegal U-turn when he struck Barracks and drove off. Providence Police Chief Hugh Clements said witnesses did a “tremendous job” in helping identify the driver.
The intersection Barracks was attempting to cross is just outside her home. It’s often busy and has no crosswalk signals to help pedestrians or signage to warn drivers.
According to Barracks’ family, another crash happened at the same spot on Sunday, just one day after she was struck.
“I think it has to be looked at again as to what type of safety measures can be put into place to make it safer,” Clements told 12 News on Monday.
Barracks’ nephew, Donovan Ranglin, is calling for the city and state to make changes.
“I’m so saddened by what happened,” he told 12 News on Sunday. “I’m speechless, but I’m very nervous and upset because this cannot stand. We, the news, everybody has to come together, knock on doors and make change because this is a dangerous, dangerous highway.”
The family said Barracks was enjoying retirement after years in the medical field. She was set to fly to the United Kingdom next week, ahead of her 77th birthday.
“Her birthday, June 2, would be coming up, and now we’re planning a funeral for her,” Ranglin said.
Barracks leaves behind a son and three daughters — one who is currently in Jamaica burying her father.
“My aunt was passionate about life and laughter and they stole her from us and her children and her grandchildren. And that person was able to sit behind us in our moment of grief and we didn’t even know it was him,” Ranglin-Vassell said.
Grave-Castro is due back in court Aug. 5.