Teen sentenced to life in prison for murder of 15-year-old outside PCTA

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – The teenager charged in the death of a 15-year-old outside of a Providence school last September pleaded guilty in Superior Court Friday morning.

Joel Loarca, 17, was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole plus an additional ten years for the murder of William Parsons.

“Parsons was a high school student, waiting for a ride home. He was in no way involved in the altercation,” prosecutors said in court Friday.

On September 5, 2018, Loarca, a member of the Hanover Boys gang, got into a fight with two people around 2 p.m. outside of the Providence Career and Technical Academy. Prosecutors say Loarca pulled a gun from his waistband, and fired one shot.

His bullet hit the 15-year-old as he was in a crowd of students, waiting for a ride home from school.

“He grabbed his face and ran. Parsons collapsed in front of the sign outside PCTA, subsequently dying from his injury.”

Parsons’ family members filled the benches in court Friday, many wearing t-shirts that read, “Rest In Paradise William ‘Eddy’ Parsons”. The courtroom was filled with emotional as Parsons’ mother, Michelle, broke down into tears as Loarca entered in shackles. Another relative left the room, consumed with grief.

The prosecutor read a victim statement on behalf of Michelle Parsons, as she sat beside him.

“My son was the sweetest child since he was little, and even more respectable as a teen. How do you get killed the second day of school for nothing?”

She wrote that his death has left her forever changed.

“I cannot sleep anymore without medication, I have been diagnosed with severe PTSD.” 

William Parsons’ father, William Parsons Sr., passed away just nine months after his son, she wrote. William Jr. is survived by two sisters.

“I will never forgive the person who killed my son, and just remember, what goes around, comes around.”

Loarca will serve his sentence at the ACI in Cranston. He’s eligible for parole after serving 25 years. If he were to get parole, Loarca would be behind bars for a total of 35 years.

© WLNE-TV/ ABC6 2019