Captain Fredy murderers sentenced
Richard Baribault, 42, and Troy Gunderway, 47, both of Warwick, were sentenced Friday by Superior Court Justice Brian P. Stern for the Aug. 1, 2015 murder of Fernando Silva, 70, who was locally known as “Captain Fredy.”
Troy Gunderway, who pleaded guilty on March 22, 2017 to one count of second-degree murder and one count of conspiracy to commit robbery, was sentenced to a total of 55 years of which 35 years will be served and the remainder suspended with probation.
Baribault, who was found guilty by a Kent County Superior Court jury on June 30, 2017 of first degree murder, conspiracy, possession of a knife over three inches, receiving stolen property, and operating on a suspended license, was sentenced to a total of life plus ten years to serve.
On the evening of July 31, 2015, Gunderway and Richard Baribault learned that Captain Fredy had earlier won several hundred dollars playing Keno. The two men conspired to steal the money.
They drove to the marina where Captain Fredy lived on his 26-foot sailboat , which he called his “one dollar yacht.”He had bought the Columbia sailboat for $1.
Baribault and Gunderway boarded the vessel. Captain Fredy, who was asleep at the time, awoke to noises and found Gunderway and Baribault in the cabin of the boat. Baribault struck Captain Fredy in the face several times. Gunderway then restrained Fredy by holding him in a headlock for several minutes while Baribault searched the boat for Fredy’s winnings. During the assault, Baribault forcefully held a pocketknife to Fredy’s neck and stomach demanding the money and kicked Fredy several times throughout the assault and robbery. Captain Fredy died as a result of the blunt force trauma he sustained during the violent attack.
Over the next several days, the two men then attempted several times to hide their crime. On one occasion, they attempted to move the boat but the motor failed. They returned later in the day with a new motor, but it too failed to start. On another occasion, they brought a cooler containing bleach, a cinder block and rope to the boat and cleaned the boat using the bleach.
On August 4, 2015 Baribault and Gunderway returned to the boat, where they were able to start the original motor. Gunderway piloted the boat to a scenic overlook area of Warwick Cove, dropped anchor, and abandoned the vessel. He used the dinghy to row to shore, where he was picked up by Baribault.
A few days later, Baribault and Gunderway realized that the boat had moved from the location where it was anchored. After a search of Warwick Cove, they located the boat on a mooring where Harbormaster Jeff Barris had towed it after finding it adrift. Barris did not find Captain Fredy’s body at that time, but about two weeks later.
“By all accounts, Captain Fredy was quite the character and thought by many as a kind and gentle person who was always ready to lend a helping hand or share a sailor’s story,” said Attorney General Peter Kilmartin. “It is a tragedy that his life was cut short by two men who decided he would be an easy target for robbery.”
Captain Fredy, who left his business and family, made news in the boating community more than a decade ago when, without any sailing experience, navigated a 20-foot sailboat from Rhode Island to the Florida Keys. As he had little to no money, he fashioned a sail from a tarp. His companion was a pet cat. He recorded his adventures in a book that he shared with a Beacon reporter only weeks before his murder.
Warwick Police Detective Sgt. Mark Canning and Lt. Scott Robillard led the investigation and Special Assistant Attorneys General Timothy Healy and Matthew LaMountain prosecuted the case on behalf of the Office of Attorney General.