Supreme Court hears three cases


On April 4, 2018, Lincoln High School hosted the Supreme Court of Rhode Island, giving Lincoln High School students the opportunity to witness three cases being presented. These cases included Ian Delong v. RI Sports Center, Angela Luis v. Kevin Gaugler, and State of Rhode Island v. Ashner Alexis.

The first case, Ian Delong v. RI Sports Center, featured a former Curry College hockey player as the plaintiff. He alleged that he was injured by the noxious fumes at the defendants’ ice rink facility, which landed him in the hospital, and the medical records from the hospital state that he suffered from noxious dioxide poisoning.

On appeal, the plaintiff argued that the hearing justice erred in granting defendant’s motion for summary judgement because it is a fact that a dangerous or defective condition had existed at the defendants’ ice rink facility. Also, the defendants were aware of this condition, and there is a causal link between the dangerous or defective condition and the plaintiff’s injury.

The second case, Angela Luis v. Kevin Gaugler, involved a couple and Luis, the defendant, appeals from a Family Court decision pending entry of a final judgement granting a plaintiff a divorce following her claim that she and the defendant were married by common-law.

The defendant argues that the trial court misconceived the evidence in finding that the parties had a mutual intention of being husband and wife and that they had announced to the community that they were, in fact, married.

It was argued that Gaugler had wore a ring on the left index finger while in the relationship, acted as a father figure to her child, and announced to the public that they were married and he was the child’s father.

Despite this, the defendant contends that the parties claimed to be married solely to obtain health benefits and the defendant never had the intention to be married by doing so.

The final case, State of Rhode Island v. Asher Alexis, was a revenge shooting. The defendant, Ashner Alexis, or “Pookie” as he also went by, was charged and convicted of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and discharging a weapon while committing a crime of violence for which he was sentenced to a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

On appeal, the defendant contends that the trial justice had abused his discretion when he denied on two separate motions to pass the case, one based on the emotional display of a witness and the other based on a witness’s reference of a mugshot of the defendant. The defendant contends the trial justice had abused his discretion by using a photograph as evidence that displayed a number of individuals including the defendant that were together prior to shooting because the photograph was extremely prejudicial to the defendant.

Listening to the Supreme Court cases was a wonderful opportunity and learning experience for students at Lincoln High School. The justices announced that it takes approximately 60 days for an opinion to be released, and all decisions are in writing, so Lincoln High School will know the results of each of the cases by the end of the school year.