PROVIDENCE — A jury on Friday convicted a 38-year-old Providence man of second-degree murder in the 2014 shooting death of an East Providence barber.
The jury found Thomas Mosley guilty of the murder count and discharging a firearm while committing a crime of violence that ended in death in the slaying of 42-year-old Yusef A’Vant as what was his second trial in the killing.
A separate jury in November declared Mosley guilty of firearms and obstruction charges, but failed to reach a verdict on the most serious counts. Superior Court Judge Robert D. Krause declared a mistrial on the murder, conspiracy and firearms charges.
A’Vant’s family members let out a slight gasp Friday as the jury acquitted Mosley of first-degree murder and conspiracy. An audible sigh could be heard as the panel then convicted him on the lesser murder count.
They declined comment after the verdict, conferring with prosecutors Scott Erickson and Robert Johnson and detectives afterward.
The barber, who left behind a teenage son, was related to retired Rhode Island State Police Detective Lt. John A’Vant and Providence Detective Angelo A’Vant, who were both in the courtroom as the verdict was read. Detectives from the East Providence and Providence police departments, many of whom were at the courthouse Friday, investigated his murder.
Yusef A’Vant, 42, had a customer in his Krazy Kuts shop on Pawtucket Avenue around 2 p.m. Aug. 13, 2014, when someone walked in from the rain and shot him to death. The customer ran for help, and the East Providence police chief said hours later that investigators believed A’Vant had been targeted.
Mosley, of 21 Princeton Ave., was arrested nearly a year later and charged with A’Vant’s slaying. A Providence County grand jury later indicted Mosley and a second man, Evan Watson, 31, of 199 Brown St., Providence, in the murder. Watson pleaded guilty in October 2016 to second-degree murder, conspiracy, carrying a pistol without a license, and discharging a firearm while committing a crime of violence. Watson awaits sentencing in the case.
Watson is serving at least 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to shooting and wounding two people in a home invasion in Providence in July 2014, a month before A’Vant’s murder. Four other men also pleaded guilty in that crime.
George West, who represented Mosley with the assistance of investigator Charles Galligan, said he planned to appeal.
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