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PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — A Pawtucket man learned his punishment Friday for intentionally hitting and nearly killing another man with his car.
James Rohelia, 53, was sentenced to 34 years with 17 to serve at the ACI, followed by a consecutive 17-year suspended sentence with 34 years of probation, according to the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office.
Rohelia pleaded guilty in February to assault with intent to murder, felony assault resulting in serious bodily injury, and leaving the scene of an accident resulting in serious injury.
Prosecutors said Rohelia and the 31-year-old victim got into an argument inside a Broad Street store, which led to a fist fight outside. It was then, according to prosecutors, that Rohelia got back in his car and drove at the victim, who landed on the hood and was thrown to the pavement.
The victim suffered severe injuries and had to be placed in a medically induced coma. The AG’s office said the incident left him with permanent disabilities that still impact his daily life.
“This is a particularly cruel case of violence for violence’s sake,” Attorney General Peter Neronha said. “This defendant acted out of unpredictable and unprovoked rage, and was willing to take a man’s life over nothing. I am thankful that the victim survived, and I hope he can find comfort in knowing his assailant will spend many well-deserved years in prison.”
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