Luis Matta sentenced to 17 years for manslaughter in death of girlfriend

Luis Matta sentenced to 17 years for manslaughter in death of girlfriend
Luis Matta sentenced to 17 years for manslaughter in death of girlfriend

PROVIDENCE – A 39-year-old Cranston man was sentenced Wednesday to 17 years in prison for the 2019 stabbing death of his girlfriend.

Luis Matta was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Joseph A. Montalbano to 30 years, with 17 to serve, for manslaughter in the fatal stabbing of Rachael Renéthe mother of Matta’s child.

The remainder of the sentence will be suspended with probation.

A jury in February acquitted Matta of first-degree and second-degree domestic murder, convicting him instead of manslaughter.

“We considered that to be a huge win. Judge Montalbano did a great job,” Craig V. Montecalvo, who represented Matta, said.

In addition, he was convicted of violating a no-contact order, for which Montalbano gave him a concurrent one-year suspended sentence with probation. He has been held without bail at the Adult Correctional Institutions since his arrest in 2019.

Confession leads to arrest

Authorities say Matta stabbed Rene on Jan. 15, 2019, the same day a consent order was filed granting Matta visitation of his then-eight-month-old son.

He then confessed to the crime at Providence police headquarters after bringing the baby to his mother’s house in Cranston.

Police officers rushed to the River Avenue apartment, where they found Rene dead in her kitchen, according to the police report. The state Department of Children, Youth and Families was called in for the baby, who was unhurt.

Matta was charged months before Rene’s death in court with breaking into his residence in Warren. He was released on personal recognition and was ordered not to contact Rene.

More on the victim

Rene was a hairdresser who worked at several salons, including Hair Heart and Soul in Bristol and the Jon Richard Salon in Cranston.

Sarah Redman, the owner of Hair, Heart and Soul, described Rene as beloved by coworkers and clients alike.

She was known to work charity events sponsored by the salon, including three “Positively Pink” events, where she and Redman worked together applying makeup and styling hair for breast cancer survivors.

It was the second loss Rene’s family experienced within a matter of months. Her younger sister, Melanie, 28, died of an illness in August.

The case was prosecuted by Timothy G. Healy and Robert E. Johnson.

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