Providence man, 21, admits to shooting friend, burning body
Katie Mulvaney Journal Staff Writer kmulvane
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A 21-year-old city man admitted Thursday to shooting his friend to death at a drunken party in 2016 and then trying to cover his crime by burning the body in a field in Lincoln.
David Deleon pleaded guilty before Superior Court Judge Robert D. Krause to manslaughter, carrying a pistol without a license, and to mutilating the body of his friend, 21-year-old Dakota Gosselin, after a day of partying Nov. 20, 2016.
He received a sentence of 30 years in prison, with 22 to serve, for the manslaughter count, a concurrent two years on the firearms charge, and another 3 years to serve consecutively for mutilation.
In exchange for his plea, Assistant Attorney General Stacey Veroni agreed to amend what had been a murder charge, finding that no argument or dispute happened between Deleon and Gosselin in the minutes leading up to the shooting. Several other charges were also dismissed.
According to Veroni, Gosselin, Deleon and several others spent the day drinking, cooking, smoking marijuana and playing video games at an apartment on Gordon Avenue in Providence’s Lower South Side. The crowd grew nervous when Deleon pulled out a loaded pistol and pointed it at people as he joked around.
” ‘Put that thing away,’ ” they told him, Veroni said.
Minutes later they heard a gunshot from the living room, where they found Gosselin shot and Deleon holding the gun. Deleon told his friends he didn’t realize a bullet was in the chamber.
Deleon and Gilberto Santiago then foisted the body in the trunk of a borrowed car and drove to Lincoln Meadows Road, picking up gas along the way, Veroni said. They then set the body on fire, she said as tears ran down Gosselin’s family member’s cheeks. (Santiago has pleaded not