Police say they found 30-year-old Aramis Segura hiding under his girlfriend’s bed following the fatal New Year’s Eve crash that claimed the life of an East Greenwich teen.
He allegedly fled the Warwick crash scene, with the help of his girlfriend.
She’s now facing criminal charges.
The family of the 17-year-old victim, Olivia Passaretti, has been fighting for stiffer penalties against Segura and calling for the arrest of his girlfriend, Alicia Peckham, 25, of Charlestown.
A Statewide Grand Jury delivered the family a mixed bag of justice Wednesday, when six full months after the Jan. 1 crash, Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Neronha issued a press release.
The Grand Jury returned an indictment charging Segura with multiple felony counts, though they’re essentially the same-level charges Rhode Island State Police filed in January.
“Segura is charged with driving to endanger, death resulting and leaving the scene of an accident, death resulting,” according to the press release. “The Attorney General will file a habitual offender notice at Segura’s arraignment, which subjects a defendant to an additional sentence should a case result in a conviction.”
The Statewide Grand Jury has also returned an indictment charging Peckham with Leaving the Scene of an Accident, Death Resulting, as an Aider and Abettor; Harboring a Criminal; Misprision of a Felony; and Obstructing an Officer in Execution of their Duty.
“It is alleged that during the early morning hours of (Jan. 1), Aramis Segura caused a car crash on Interstate 95 in Warwick that killed Olivia Passaretti,” according to the Attorney General’s press release. “It is also alleged that Alicia Peckham aided Aramis Segura as he fled from the crash and later hid him at their home in Charlestown before members of the Rhode Island State Police arrested him.”
According to the victim's family, Segura posted on social media prior to the crash, threatening to wreck his car that night. Due to the posts, Passaretti’s family has been urging the Attorney General to pursue Second Degree Murder charges.
Neronha’s Office had six months to make the case to the Grand Jury, but prosecutors either did not argue for Second Degree Murder charges, or could not convince the Grand Jury to indict. Grand Jury proceedings are secret and Neronha’s office has refused to comment on case specifics following today's indictment.
“As alleged here, defendant Segura’s criminal driving behavior resulted in the death of a young person so much loved by her family and the community,” Neronha said. “Both defendants compounded that alleged criminal misconduct by leaving the scene of the incident in an attempt to shield defendant Segura from criminal responsibility for his actions. We remain committed to ensuring that both defendants face the greatest possible accountability for their alleged criminal conduct, and to achieving justice for Olivia and her family.”
Olivia’s mother, Janine Passaretti-Molloy, provided a statement on Wednesday after the indictments were made public:
"Today is a day that my family and everyone that loves my Olivia has been waiting for," she wrote. "Today is the beginning of bringing justice to the monster that killed her, and his girlfriend who did everything he did except physically drive the car that violently took my child from this world!"
Passaretti-Molloy addressed the specific charges filed against Segura.
"We were pushing for second degree murder charges, which aren’t the charges that came in, however it doesn’t mean that we don’t believe that isn't what he is," she wrote. "We and many others believe that he murdered my child when he decided to drive at 100 mph that night posting on social media prior to doing so. It showed his mindset."
"He did not care who was on the road and he certainly didn’t care when he hit my innocent 17 year old child’s car that was half way home doing 64 mph and violently went from 64 mph to 85 mph in a split second after he hit her, sending her spinning into a tree then flipping over to her death! He didn’t go check on her. He fled the scene."
The family was pleased to hear that Peckham now faces serious criminal charges as well.
"His girlfriend helped ... through every step," Passaretti-Molloy wrote.
Now the prosecution and the defense will likely work out a plea in court or go to trial.
“Now that this case has been charged by the State-Wide Grand Jury and is pending in Kent County Superior Court, the Office does not intend to offer additional comment concerning the serious charges pending against both defendants, outside formal proceedings in the courtroom,” Assistant Attorney General Kathryn M. Sabatini wrote via email. “The Attorney General and the trial team have met with Olivia Passaretti’s family several times, including as recently as yesterday, to discuss the available criminal charges and the basis for them. The Attorney General remains committed to achieving justice for Olivia and her family.”
The Rhode Island State Police and the Attorney General’s Office conducted the investigation of this case, according to the press release.
“Segura remains held at the Adult Correctional Institutions as an alleged violator of his probation,” according to the Attorney General’s Office. “Both defendants are scheduled to be arraigned on July 15, 2022, in Kent County Superior Court.”
In February, Neronha spoke to The Beacon about the case.
“In this particular case, in consultation with our office, those are the charges that the State Police brought in district court,” Neronha explained. “Those charges are effectively place-holders. We have to charge this case in Superior Court within six months of the incident. It’s at that point that the case becomes, if you will, a true felony offense, based on charges that are brought.”
On Wednesday, June 29, Olivia’s loved ones, naturally, had mixed emotions following the Grand Jury announcement.
Four months ago, Olivia’s step-father, Dennis Molloy, questioned the initial charges Segura faced (and still faces now, following the Grand Jury’s report):
“The whole thing with murder, right, is intent,” Molloy said in February. “So if you post on Facebook that you’re going to take your car and go crash it, and you crash it into somebody else’s car and kill them, it’s not an accident. You can’t accidentally do what you posted you posted you were going to do. You can’t call it an accident if you say you were going to do something, and do it.”
More than 38,000 people have signed an online petition calling for justice in Olivia’s case (in February, the number of signatures hovered around 20,000).
“It’s growing,” her mother said in February. “These criminals are being treated like victims.”
Olivia’s mother started the online petition.
“If this criminal said on social media that he was going to use a knife, a gun, a bomb etc. there would be no question of this murder,” she wrote online, requesting signatures. “His car was the weapon that killed my child. There should be no question. He was out to destroy a life and the life he destroyed was my child’s.”
The new petition goal is to hit 50,000 signatures.
On Wednesday, Passaretti-Molloy wrote: "Those images will never leave my mind. I will live with them forever. My daughter had a whole life ahead of her. A life that touched everyone she met. This world lost a beautiful soul. I lost my baby. All we can pray for is that he is convicted and sentenced to the maximum amount of years so he isn’t ever able to see the light of day and hurt another innocent person."