Newport This Week

Murder Defendant Sentenced in Unrelated Case

Shamik Steele, 30, was ordered to serve 30 months in state prison for violating the terms of his probation and suspended sentence on a case dating to 2019.

Steele is the primary defendant being charged with the murder of Yordi Arevalo on Feb. 14 inside the Friendly Sons of Newport social club.

He had been previously arrested by Newport Police in 2019 and charged with three counts of domestic violence. The case was adjudicated in 2020 with Associate Justice William Carnes imposing a one-year suspended sentence on the first two counts and six months on the third. He was also placed on probation.

A probation violation hearing was held in Newport County Superior Court on April 13, where Carnes revoked the suspension after Steele admitted he had failed to keep the peace related to state prosecutors’ charges that he was the shooter in the Valentine’s Day murder.

During a subsequent bail review on the new charges, Steele’s court-appointed attorney, Daniel Calabro Jr., temporarily waived his client’s scheduled bail hearing set to take place on the same day. However, he reserved the right to revisit Steele’s bail status at a later date.

Since Steele will now be held at the ACI, the matter of bail became moot. Under state law, prosecutors must bring down a grand jury indictment within six months of a felony arrest.

Steele will get credit for the time served since his Feb. 14 arrest in West Warwick. Investigators allegedly retrieved Steele’s clothing worn on the night in question, which were soaking in bleach. No firearm has been recovered by police.

Steele is being prosecuted, along with two other Newport men, Xavier Perry, 28, and Duane Logan, 46, for first-degree murder, conspiracy, felony assault, and the discharge of a firearm while committing a crime of violence. All three men now face life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

During the April 13 hearing, Carnes asked Steele if he understood that if a bail hearing were to move forward, the court would be presented with adequate evidence that “the presumption of guilt was great and the proof was evident” that he had committed the crimes for which he was being charged, the legal phrasing under which adjudication of bail is determined by the court.

Surveillance video showed Steele, Logan and Perry entering the Friendly Sons bar and eventually getting into a verbal altercation with a group of men that included Arevalo. The footage showed the three defendants exiting the bar after the incident and returning around 1 a.m., donning facemasks. A separate camera angle caught a man who appears to be Steele firing a low caliber revolver toward the group of men inside the bar, striking Arevalo multiple times. A second victim survived and was treated for non-life-threatening injuries and released from Rhode Island Hospital.

Logan also appeared briefly in Superior Court on April 14. Represented by court-appointed attorney Angela Lawless, Logan’s bail hearing was continued to April 28. His attorney told the court she had recently received discovery evidence by the state and was awaiting court transcripts related to Perry’s bail hearing.

Logan is facing a separate felony charge filed by the Rhode Island State Police on March 10 for manufacturing a controlled substance with the intent to distribute between one ounce and one kilogram of cocaine. That case will be heard in Kent County Superior Court before Associate Justice Luis Matos. A bail hearing on that matter is scheduled for May 18, according to court records.

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