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Rhode Island man's sentence upheld after killing during botched robbery

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PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island — A 36-year-old Rhode Island man's murder conviction has been upheld.

Ramon Virola received consecutive life sentences for a 2004 murder of a Johnson and Wales student in Providence.

Virola was arrested in 2011 in Arizona, where authorities say he was living under an assumed identity. A jury convicted him in July 2013 of killing Christopher Nelson as Nelson tried to wrestle the gun away during a robbery attempt.

He appealed to the state Supreme Court for a new trial saying portions of his girlfriend's testimony that were admitted into evidence were irrelevant and prejudicial.

But the court says the trial justice properly articulated why he permitted the testimony and appropriately used his discretion.

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