Man pleads guilty in killing of 12-year-old Providence girl

Aynis Vargas

A man accused of shooting to death a 12-year-old girl during a graduation party in Providence pleaded guilty to murder and other charges Friday.

The attorney general's office said Branden Castro was sentenced to two life sentences and an additional 50 years.

Prosecutors said Castro, 22, got out of a van, crossed the street, and opened fire on a group of people at the party in Hartford Park on June 15.

Aynis Vargas was killed. Three women were injured.

Authorities say Castro and four others were retaliating against a rival gang and the victims were innocent bystanders.

Castro did not make a statement at Friday's hearing.

Aynis' father said in a statement read by a prosecutor that the family was satisfied that the men responsible were being prosecuted.

Three co-defendants have admitted to their roles in the shooting.

Angel Valerio, 19, pleaded guilty earlier this month to assault with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy charges. Luis Gonzalez, 18, pleaded guilty in March to assault charges. Ricardo Vasquez, 21, pleaded guilty in September to murder and other charges and was sentenced to life in prison.