Teens tried as adults in 2019 shooting death of 17-year-old Woonsocket girl

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – Two of the three teenagers charged in the shooting death of a 17-year-old from Woonsocket in 2019 were arraigned Wednesday in Providence County Superior Court.

Craig Robinson, 19, and Quinton St. Pierre, also 19, were ordered held without bail after pleading not guilty to charges for the murder of NyAsia Williams-Thomas.

NyAsia was shot and killed while inside a vehicle at the Plaza Village apartment complex in Woonsocket on December 4, 2019. The teen was not the intended target, police said at the time. Detectives believe a 14-year-old passenger was the suspects’ target as the group had a prior dispute.

Robinson and St. Pierre have both been charged with one count of murder, one count of discharging a firearm during a crime of violence resulting in death, two counts of discharging a firearm during a crime of violence – assault with a dangerous weapon, two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, one count of conspiracy to commit murder, and one count of carrying a pistol without a license.

Both defendants were 17 at the time of the murder, but are now being tried as adults after the Rhode Island Family Court waived jurisdiction.

A third suspect, Jose Ortiz Martinez, who was 18 at the time of the murder, was indicted on a murder charge last year.

NyAsia’s mother, Charmain Thomas, sent ABC6 the following statement following the arraignment:

“NyAsia who is also known as Ny, NyNy, Shahada, and Titi Ny was a masterpiece. She always had a smile that would light up a room and your spirit. NyAsia was a giver.  It warmed her heart to make others happy. She was a good listener and would give the best advice. I always told her that she has lived before. She was mature beyond her years. NyAsia loved her family and friends. Her nephews, niece, and young cousins were her pride and joy as she was theirs as well. She lived life to the fullest. Always singing, dancing, working, laughing, just simply enjoying her teenage years. She had grown to be not so fond of school. We were in the process of transitioning her to a school of her choice. She was so excited. To not see her grow into the young lady she and her father and I talked about often is heartbreaking. No one imagined this to be her fate. She always felt loved and safe in Woonsocket. To see the outpouring love for her is comforting, although, it does not ease the pain of losing her. She will always be remembered for her wittiness, her smile, her warm heart and kind soul.”

NyAsia’s death hit the Woonsocket community hard, and since the tragedy, community leaders have been working to spread awareness of the effects of gun violence.

“We brought the Nonviolence Institute into the high school to do a full assembly. We also had a walk for Ny in her honor, to bring awareness to violence that is kind of hitting the kids in our community as more kids are getting involved with other activities. NyAsia’s name should always be used for good, and always, not just affiliated as a victim, but who she was living,” said Bonnie Piekarski, head of the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Rhode Island in Woonsocket.

Piekarski said NyAsia started going there at the age of 12.

“It’s still heartbreaking, it’s still very raw. It’s pretty much day by day. We think about her every day,” Piekarski said. “She was a really great kid, her smile would light up a room, her laughter… she was extremely giving, extremely caring, she helped out a lot with our younger kids. Just a really good human being.”

Robinson and St. Pierre will be back in court this summer for a pre-trial conference.

© WLNE-TV 2021

Categories: News, Providence, Regional News, Rhode Island, Woonsocket