Pawtucket man charged in fatal hit-and-run ordered held without bail

WOONSOCKET, R.I. (WLNE) — A Pawtucket man charged with murder in a hit-and-run Saturday was ordered held without bailin court on Monday.

37-year-old James Grilli is accused of intentionally running over 40-year-old Erika Belcourt with his car in a domestic incident, police say.

He faces three domestic felony charges, including domestic 1st degree murder, domestic assault with a deadly weapon and domestic breaking and entering.

Caroline Masse is a friend of Belcourt. She says her heart is broken.

“I’m just in shock of all of this,” Masse said. “I cant wrap my head around it. She was supposed to come to my house that day. I talked to her at 5:34. The detective told me I was the last person to speak to her.”

Masse says she was on the phone with Belcourt just moments before she was hit by a car outside her apartment complex on Diamond Hill Road.

“She was calm as can be,” Masse said. “She said he was starting a fight with her, that he called her a slob and that he was leaving.”

Police say Grilli broke into Belcourt’s apartment and they got into a heated argument. They say she told him to leave and that she was going to call the police and walked him out into the parking lot. When Grilli got in his car, Belcourt stood in front and that’s when police say he intentionally accelerated and ran her over. He then fled the scene.

When police arrived on scene, they say Belcourt was conscious, but later died at Rhode Island Hospital.

“He’s a coward,” Masse said. “He left her on the ground to die.”

The judge said there will be a a bail hearing for those charges and other open charges on Aug. 31. A grand jury will take the case in the Superior Court.

Grilli was also out on bail for two open cases in Pawtucket. According to police reports, on Aug. 9, Grilli violated a no-contact order, which is considered a domestic felony charge. He also had another domestic felony charge for damaging a glass pane and a misdemeanor charge for acting in a disorderly manner.

The judge said he is also considered a bail violator for another Pawtucket incident involving a woman and a child that occurred on July 20.

Friends of Belcourt say he was also involved in a serious car accident in Attleboro just a few weeks ago and that Belcourt was taking care of him after the accident.

Categories: News, Pawtucket, Woonsocket