PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Should the two men accused of causing two separate, deadly crashes early New Year’s Day have been behind bars instead of behind the wheel?
R.I. Attorney General Peter Neronha tells 12 News that unfortunately, with the justice system, it is all about timing.
Investigators have determined that Aramis Segura, 30, of Charlestown, was speeding down I-95 South when he hit 17-year-old Olivia Passaretti’s car and forced it off the highway. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Nearly an hour later, 42-year-old Gregory Miller and Nanleomariz Albizu were on their way home from Twin River Casino in Lincoln when he crashed his car and left his critically -injured fiancée lying in the roadway. Albizu was rushed to the hospital where she was later pronounced dead.
Both Segura and Miller have lengthy criminal histories, according to court records obtained by 12 News.
“The reality is people cycle through the ACI,” Neronha explained. “They’re in and out, there are 21,000 people on probation in Rhode Island. If we had a crystal ball, if judges had a crystal ball and if prosecutors had one, we’d all be in a much better place, but we don’t have that option.”
In the wake of these two tragedies, Neronha is facing calls to invoke a sentencing enhancement for habitual offenders.
“The difficulty in at least one of these cases, the one involving Olivia Passeretti, is that, that was not available to us in that case,” Neronha said. “The time to file that would have been in 2018, before my administration took over.”
“We’re going to achieve justice for Olivia and Nan,” he continued. “We’re going to do everything we can to make sure justice is served.”
For Passaretti’s parents, justice means Segura receives a harsher punishment for needlessly taking their daughter’s life.
“My daughter was murdered,” Janine Passaretti-Molloy told 12 News. “My daughter was murdered by this animal.”
When asked whether a murder charge was on the table for Segura, Neronha said the investigation is ongoing.
“Murder is an intentional act, a specific intentional act, so we need to know a lot more about how this incident unfolded, how this crash unfolded, to make the legal determinations we need to make,” Neronha said.
“The reality is that there are a tremendous number of driving death cases and serious spinal injury cases that happened in Rhode Island,” he continued. “In the last five years, there have been 522 of them, and 89 have resulted in deaths. That’s an incredibly high number; this is an incredibly difficult problem. Every case is an individual case and behind those 89 deaths is a family. That’s why we take these cases so seriously.”
Segura is currently being held without bail at the ACI, while Miller’s bail was set at $50,000 with surety.