Witness staggers during trial in shooting of 12-year-old

Aynis Vargas

A witness overcome with emotion during testimony Thursday had to receive medical treatment in the murder trial of a 23-year-old man who is accused of conspiring with four others in a shooting that left a 12-year-old Providence girl dead.

Luis "Fat Boy" Gonzalez faces numerous charges including murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the shooting last June 15 at a graduation party outside the Hartford Park housing complex in Providence.

Aynis Vargas was killed. Three women with her were shot but survived.

Vilma Tineo sobbed as she remembered the night of June 15. At one point she became so upset, she staggered and testimony stopped so that she could receive medical treatment.

"I can't continue," she said.

Before her episode, Tineo said she was the host of the surprise graduation party. She testified she remembered seeing the shooter, 22-year-old Branden Castro, firing at the party, getting shot, and not being able to revive Vargas.

"He started to fire, to fire, to fire, and everybody started to run," Tineo said through an interpreter.

Prosecutors said Gonzalez wasn't the shooter but argued that he was equally responsible for the death of Vargas.

"He didn't pull the trigger, but he was as much a part and responsible for that death as Branden Castro," said Assistant Attorney General Stacey Veroni.

Veroni said Gonzalez and his fellow gang members went out last June in search of revenge. She said it was Gonzalez who suggested they shoot at the party goers.

"'Bang on the party' were the words of this defendant," Veroni said.

If convicted, Gonzalez faces life in prison.

In April, Castro pleaded guilty to murder and other charges and was sentenced to two life sentences and an additional 50 years.

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

Angel Valerio, 19, pleaded guilty in April to assault with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy charges. Luis "Didi" 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.