Woonsocket man sentenced to serve 40 years in state prison for 2019 murder with illegal gun

Published on Tuesday, December 14, 2021

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced that a Woonsocket man was sentenced in Providence County Superior Court to serve 40 years at the Adult Correctional Institutions (ACI) after pleading to the murder of Christopher Archambault stemming from a 2019 shooting in Woonsocket.

Claude Holland (age 28) entered a plea of guilty to second degree murder, use and discharge of a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence, and possession of a pistol without a license.

At a hearing yesterday before Superior Court Justice Robert D. Krause, the Court sentenced the defendant to 60 years at the ACI with 40 years to serve and the balance of the sentence suspended with probation. A 10-year portion of his sentence is non-parolable.

“This case is yet another example of how readily available illegal firearms in the hands of those who are all too willing to use them to settle meaningless disputes can result in tragic consequences,” said Attorney General Neronha. “The defendant committed a senseless act of gun violence and will now spend a significant portion of the rest of his life in prison. I commend the Woonsocket Police Department and prosecution team for their work on a complicated and important case.”

Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that on the evening of January 13, 2019, the defendant shot and wounded Christopher Archambault, who later succumbed to his injuries and died on May 16, 2019.

During the investigation, investigators determined that the defendant targeted Mr. Archambault following the execution of a warrant at a home on East School Street on January 9, 2019, where the Woonsocket Police Department arrested an individual and seized drugs and several shotguns. The defendant erroneously believed that Mr. Archambault provided information to investigators that led to the execution of the warrant.

On the evening of January 13, the defendant approached Mr. Archambault in a parking lot behind East School Street in Woonsocket where he pulled out a .22 caliber revolver. Mr. Archambault turned to run away, and the defendant fired a shot, striking Mr. Archambault in the back. The defendant fired a second shot that lodged itself in a bandanna that was wrapped around Mr. Archambault’s head. The defendant attempted to fire a third shot, but the revolver jammed.

The gunshot left Mr. Archambault paralyzed from his chest down. Several months later, on May 16, Mr. Archambault died, according to the Rhode Island Medical Examiner’s Office, from complications directly related to the wound he received from the shooting.

Detective Sergeant Philip Kamer and Detective Thomas Gormley of the Woonsocket Police Department and Assistant Attorneys General Joseph J. McBurney and Meghan E. McDonough of the Office of the Attorney General led the investigation and prosecution of the case.