WARWICK, R.I. — Richard Baribault, 42, of Warwick, was found guilty today by a Kent County Superior Court jury in the Aug. 1, 2015 murder of “Captain Fredy,” Fernando Silva, 70, when he and Troy Gunderway, 46, of Warwick robbed him.
Baribault was also found guilty of conspiracy, possession of a knife over three inches, receiving stolen property, and operating on a suspended license in the robbery and murder aboard Captain Fredy’s sailboat, the 26-foot Star Cappella, in the marina, announced RI Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin.
Fredy was well known among locals, and described by The Warwick Beacon as a sea-faring nomad and author of “The Blessed Voyage.”
During the trial, the State proved that on the evening of July 31, 2015, Baribault and Gunderway learned that Captain Freddy had earlier won several hundred dollars playing Keno. The two men conspired to steal the money.
They drove to the marina where Captain Fredy lived on his sailboat, and boarded the vessel. Captain Fredy, who was asleep at the time, awoke to noises and found Gunderway and Baribault in the cabin of the boat.
Baribault struck Captain Fredy in the face several times. Gunderway then restrained Captain Fredy by holding him in a head lock for several minutes while Baribault searched the boat for Freddy’s winnings. During the assault, Baribault forcefully held a pocket knife to Captain Fredy’s neck and stomach demanding the money and kicked him several times throughout the assault and robbery. Captain Fredy died as a result of the blunt force trauma he sustained during the violent attack.
Captain Fredy, officially missing since Aug. 1, 2015, was found dead on his sailboat in the water near the end of Randall Avenue Aug. 15, 2015 by the harbormaster, Jeff Barris.
The men then attempted several times to hide their crime. On one occasion, they attempted to move the boat but the motor failed. They returned later in the day with a new motor, but it too failed to start. On another occasion, they brought a cooler containing bleach, a cinder block, and rope to the boat and cleaned the boat using the bleach.
On Aug. 4, 2015 Baribault and Gunderway returned to the boat where they were able to start the original motor. Gunderway piloted the boat to a scenic overlook area of Warwick Cove, dropped anchor, and abandoned the vessel. He used the dinghy to row to shore, where he was picked up by Baribault.
A few days later, Baribault and Gunderway realized that the boat had moved from the location where it was moored. After a search of Warwick Cove, they located the boat in the spot where the body was eventually located by Harbormaster Jeff Barris.
Warwick Police Detective Sgt. Mark Canning and Lt. Scott Robillard led the investigation and Special Assistant Attorneys General Timothy Healy and Matthew LaMountain prosecuted the case on behalf of the Office of Attorney General.
Baribault remains held without bail pending sentencing, which is scheduled for September 15, 2017.