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Cranston man sentenced to serve 30 years in state prison for 2nd degree murder

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced that a Cranston man was sentenced in Providence County Superior Court to serve 30 years at the Adult Correctional Institutions (ACI) after pleading to the 2020 murder of Paul Zois in Cranston.

Charles Gangi (age 74) waived indictment and pleaded nolo contendere to one count of second-degree murder.

At a hearing on Monday, before Superior Court Justice Maureen B. Keough, the court sentenced Gangi to 60 years at the ACI with 30 years to serve and the balance of the sentence suspended with probation.

"Far too often, and at a pace that seems to only be increasing in the past year, disagreements and arguments have led to extraordinary overreactions – even acts of violence, as occurred here. The defendant's decision to resolve an argument at the point of a gun ended one person's life and forever changed others. Such senseless violence warrants a lengthy sentence, and I am grateful to the court for imposing one in this case," said Attorney General Neronha. "I am also thankful for the fine work and partnership of the Cranston Police Department during the investigation into the case."

Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that during the afternoon on December 29, 2020, Gangi shot and killed Paul Zois during an argument at their home on B Street in Cranston.

On that day, investigators determined that Gangi shot Zois five times with a Smith & Wesson .38 Special revolver. Rescue personnel that responded to the scene transported Zois to Rhode Island Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

During the course of the investigation, Gangi admitted to investigators that he shot Zois during an argument.

At the time, Gangi was in a relationship with Zois' mother and lived with her at the home on B St. along with Zois.

"This case is an example of how a menial argument within a household can quickly escalate and result in tragic consequences when a firearm is easily accessible and is used with no forethought," said Colonel Michael J. Winquist, Chief of the Cranston Police Department. "I commend the detectives from the Cranston Police Department and the prosecutors from the Office of Attorney General, whose efforts resulted in a plea and significant period of incarceration."

Special Assistant Attorney General Bethany Laskowski of the Office of the Attorney General and Detective Joseph Hopkins of the Cranston Police Department led the investigation and prosecution of the case.