Cranston man sentenced to life plus 30 years

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Alberto Rivera, age 42, of Cranston, was sentenced Thursday to life plus 30 consecutive years, non-parolable, for the December 2016 shooting of Juan Crousette, who survived the shooting. He was also found to be a habitual offender and sentenced to 25 years to run concurrent.  

Rivera was found guilty after a trial presided over by Superior Court Justice Robert D. Krause of assault with a dangerous weapon (firearm) in a dwelling with the intent to murder Juan Croussette, burglary, assault with a dangerous weapon, discharging a firearm while committing a crime of violence, use of a firearm while committing a crime of violence, possession of a firearm after having previously been convicted of a crime of violence, and carrying a firearm without a license.  

During the trial, the State proved that on December 6, 2016, Rivera shot his ex-wife’s boyfriend in the neck. He then pointed the gun at his ex-wife as his 8-year-old daughter begged him not to shoot her mother. 

In the early morning hours of December 4, 2016, Juan Croussette heard footsteps on the gravel outside of his apartment located at 126 Lowell Avenue in Providence. He got out of the bed that he was sharing with his girlfriend, Brenda Villanueva, and went to the window. When he turned the exterior light on, he saw Brenda’s ex-husband, Alberto Rivera, illuminated in the darkness.

As Croussette told Villanueva to call the police, they heard the sliding glass door in the living room shatter. Sleeping in the living room at the time were the 8-year-old and 7-year-old daughters of Rivera and Villanueva. The 8-year-old testified during the trial that she awoke to the sound of glass crashing down and saw her father in the apartment.  

As Croussette headed to the living room to get the girls, Rivera shot him point blank in the neck. During the trial, Croussette testified that he fell to the floor and felt like he was drowning in his own blood.

Next, Rivera pointed the gun at his ex-wife and said, “I told you.” As their 8-year-old daughter looked on, she pleaded with her father not to shoot her mother. Rivera lowered the weapon and fled the scene through the broken sliding glass door. A short time later, he called Villanueva and said, “If you tell anyone it was me, I will blow your brains out.” 

As officers arrived, they found Croussette covered in blood trying to walk out to the street, where he collapsed. He was rushed to Rhode Island Hospital by ambulance.

Villanueva identified Rivera as the shooter. He was arrested several days later in Brockton, Mass.

“This shooting, in front of the two young daughters of the defendant, was premeditated, brazen and cold-blooded. The defendant has an extensive record, with at least 14 prior convictions, many of which are domestic violence related. His trajectory through the criminal justice system reveals a pattern of a domestic predator with an escalating history of violence, and he rightfully deserves this lengthy sentence,” said Attorney General Kilmartin. “I would like to extend my great appreciation to Detectives Dyer and Greely for their extraordinary efforts in this case, and for serving as strong advocates for the victims, especially the youngest victims who should never have had to witness such violence, during the investigation and trial.”

Providence Detectives Brian Dyer and Matthew Greely led the investigation and Assistant Attorney General James Baum and Special Assistant Attorney General Edward Mullaney prosecuted the case on behalf of the Office of Attorney General.

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