Trial begins for man accused in fatal 2-by-4 beating
Posted November 30
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A trial is underway for a man accused of beating a Rhode Island junk car dealer to death with a two-by-four over a deal gone wrong.
Opening statements were heard Tuesday in the murder and assault trial of 48-year-old Daniel Lastarza in Providence.
Prosecutors say the July 2014 altercation that led to the death of 34-year-old Jonathan Stack started as an argument over a bogus sale at Stack's North Providence car dealership that apparently involved Lastarza and another man.
Prosecutors say Stack and his employee confronted Lastarza's friend at a bar. They say the altercation moved outside and Lastarza struck Stack and his employee with a two-by-four.
Defense attorney Christopher Smith says Stack and his employee were the aggressors, and indicated he would be arguing self-defense.
This story has been corrected to show prosecutors say Stack and his employee confronted the defendant's friend at the bar.