Law enforcement officials are turning to the courts as they look to turn the tide on a drug overdose epidemic. Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin says it will be increasingly common to bring murder charges against drug dealers and manufacturers involved in an overdose death.

“We actually have a case right now regarding a fentanyl death," said Kilmartin. "And that’s in the court process. And we’ll see what the outcome of the case is. It’s the first case ever prosecuted in the state like that so we’re hopeful.”

John Bender

Providence Police have identified a 38-year-old man who became the city's 12th homicide this year.

According to police, Kyle Machado of Providence was shot to death in the Fox Point neighborhood over the weekend. Police said he was found at the intersection of Trenton Avenue and Ives Street in the early hours of Saturday morning, following reports of shots fired.

Police said detectives continue to investigate the shooting.

Another shooting took place in the Federal Hill neighborhood this weekend, but that did not result in a homicide.

Aaron Read / RIPR

A Providence man has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge for selling the illicit drug fentanyl - a potent painkiller sometimes laced in heroin - that led to a woman’s overdose death. It’s the first time Rhode Island prosecutors have brought murder charges in connection with an overdose death. But the trend is taking hold nationwide.

Providence police have made three more arrests in connection with the murder of a 12-year-old Providence girl and the shooting of three women at a graduation party in June. 

The latest arrests bring to five the number of suspects in the murder of 12-year-old Aynis Vargas. 

Shortly after her murder police arrested Branden Castro and Ricardo Vasquez of the Harriet Street gang. Now, police have arrested three more suspects, including a 17-year-old juvenile. 

Flo Jonic / RIPR

Yesterday was a pivotal day in the life of Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez. He was charged with murdering a friend and fired from the team all in the same day. Rhode Island Public Radio's Flo Jonic was on hand for his arraignment in Attleboro District Court.

Aaron Hernandez was dressed in the same clothes he was arrested in: a white, v-neck tee shirt and red shorts. He showed no emotion as Bristol County prosecutor Bill McCauley laid out the state's case against him.

The investigation continues this morning into an apparent double murder/suicide in Warwick.  It happened early Saturday morning at a home in the Oakland Beach area.  Police say 45-year old John Oliveira shot his former girlfriend, Carla Bowen, multiple times and then killed her boyfriend before turning the gun on himself. All three victims were dead at the scene.

The crime was reported by one of Bowen’s 12-year-old twin boys. He fled out a dormer window and ran to a neighbor for help. The other twin remained on the roof until police rescued him.