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Rhode Island man sentenced for role in murder where friend “wanted to hurt his family”



Graphic courtesy of Uvalde Police

Attorney General Peter Neronha announced that a Providence man has been sentenced in Providence County Superior Court to serve at the Adult Correctional Institutions for his role in the 2016 murder of 19-year-old Michael Rogers in Warwick.

On May 12, 2023, 26-year-old Josue Morillo entered a guilty plea to one count of second-degree murder and one count of conspiracy to commit second-degree murder.

At the hearing on July 14, 2023, Superior Court Justice Luis Matos sentenced the defendant to 40 years, with 22 years to serve at the ACI and an 18-year suspended sentence with 40 years of probation.

Had the case proceeded to a trial, the State was prepared to prove that during the early morning hours of March 26, 2016, the defendant, along with several co-defendants, actively participated in the stabbing death of Michael Rogers.

“With today’s sentencing, each of those responsible for this truly senseless murder has received a well-deserved prison sentence,” said Attorney General Neronha. “And while justice has been served to the extent that is possible, the victim received the worst sentence of all. These convicted criminals robbed this young victim of a full life, for no discernable reason. I hope that the outcome of this case serves not only as a deterrent, but also as a promise to the public that those who commit, or assist with, senseless acts of violence will be held accountable. I am grateful for the exceptional work of the Warwick Police Department and the prosecutors in my Office, in this case and in so many others.”

In the early morning hours of March 26, 2016, the defendant and several co-defendants received a call from co-defendant Jared Rogers, who had been transported to Kent County Hospital after belligerently arguing with his mother and brother, David, after returning home from a night out with friends. The group picked up Jared from the hospital, at which time Jared told the group he wanted to hurt his family. The defendant expressed that he was willing to stab someone, as they drove to Jared’s home on Haswill Street in Warwick.

The group broke into Jared’s home around 5:00 a.m. The defendant went downstairs, stabbed David Rogers in the abdomen as he slept, and immediately ran from the basement and out of the house. Simultaneously, another co-defendant stabbed Michael Rogers in his bedroom upstairs. Shortly after, the group fled the scene. Rescue personnel transported both victims to Rhode Island Hospital where Michael was pronounced dead.

Police brought the defendant in for questioning and subsequently charged him with murder on March 29, 2016.

“This kind of senseless violence will never be tolerated in our community, and today’s sentencing reflects the severity of the crime,” said Warwick Police Chief Bradford E. Connor. I want to thank everyone who worked to bring this defendant to justice; for the victims and for the safety of our community members. And of course, thank you to the Warwick Police Department and the Attorney General’s Office for their diligence in investigating and prosecuting the defendant.”

Of the co-defendants, Andrew Soben received a sentence of 60 years with 50 to serve, Jake Cabral received a sentence of 10 years with seven to serve, and Jared Rogers received life in prison for their respective roles in the murder.

Assistant Attorney General Amy Dodge of the Office of the Attorney General, and Detective Sergeant Mark Canning (retired), Detective Sergeant John McHale, Detective Gilda Fortier and Lieutenant Thomas DiGregorio of the Warwick Police Department led the investigation and prosecution of the case.

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