A Johnston teenager was shot and killed inside the home at 78 Cedar St.
An investigation into his death is ongoing, but the house where Dillon Viens died can be bought for $445,000.
“Endless opportunities with this beautiful five bedroom, two full bath home,” according to the listing on Premier Realty Group’s website, where the house is a “Featured Listing.” “Nothing left to be done but move in. A sun filled home with original oak floors that have recently been polished, every wall has been freshly painted.”
The oak floors have been recently polished. “Every wall has been freshly painted.”
That description really stung David Viens, the father of Dillon Viens, 16, a Johnston resident and student at William M. Davies Jr. Career and Technical High School, who died following a “shooting” at the Cedar Street home on Feb. 12.
“The way they wrote it hurt,” Viens said. “Freshly painted walls. The hardwood floors. That bothered me. I felt messed up on that. I’m saying to myself, I don’t think the realtor even knows this was an open investigation. They didn’t have to write it up like that.”
The grieving father has been picketing outside the house, next to the Premier Realty Group’s “For Sale” sign, the real estate agent’s face smiling from a small shingle attached to its top. (The agent’s face has since been removed.)
Last Thursday, outside an “Open House” at the Cedar Street home, David Viens carried signs reading: “CRIME SCENE FOR SALE” and “Open Investigation for SALE.”
“They’re hiding the crime scene,” Viens said Wednesday. “It broke my heart. The whole thing was just a slap in the face. His body was literally, I know for a fact, dragged all over the house during that 40 minutes before 911 was called.”
Viens said he spoke to one of the men who worked on the cleanup crew following the shooting. The man shared heart-wrenching details from the scene.
The agent handling the listing for Premier Realty Group Paula Cardi refused to comment.
“I would need to have you talk to my broker,” she said, referring questions to Melissa Perrille, Chief Executive Officer and broker at Premier Realty Group.
“I’m sure it was cleaned up prior,” Perrille said. “It wasn’t like that when we went into the home.”
Perrille said disclosing information like a violent death inside a home would be up to the seller.
“It seller’s disclosure,” she said. “The seller has disclosed that there was an issue with the property … We have a signed contract with the seller. Please contact the seller if you have any more questions. It has been disclosed, but we’re not discussing it.”
Many questions still linger surrounding the circumstances of Dillon’s death.
“I was aware that the house was either being sold or auctioned off,” Johnston Police Chief Joseph P. Razza said this week. “Patrols did make additional checks of the property, as they have done so since the incident. On the particular day of the house being sold/auctioned, there were no issues or reports of civil unrest. If you are looking for further commentary, please reach out to the RI Attorney General’s Office as they are leading the investigation and in a better position to comment on where the case stands.”
Brian Hodge, a spokesman for Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Neronha, confirmed an investigation is ongoing.
“The circumstances into the death of Dillon Viens are still under investigation by the Johnson Police Department and the Office of the Attorney General,” Hodge said Wednesday morning. “As the investigation is pending, we have no further comment.”
Soon after the shooting, Johnston Police arrested Marios M. Kirios, 29, of Cedar St., Johnston, as part of the "ongoing investigation into the shooting death” of Viens. He was charged with four misdemeanor counts of violating a state law that requires Safe Storage of a Firearm. According to court records, Kirios was already serving five years probation for a 2019 arrest.
Kirios had been facing four charges — for Fraudulent Checks (More than $1,500) — when he entered a plea of Nolo Contendere on one count, and was sentenced to probation and ordered to pay $32,000 in restitution.
“Kirios, who was not at home at the time of the shooting, had legally possessed the firearms that were later seized as part of this investigation," according to a statement released by Johnston Police in February. Kirios was arraigned and held as a Superior Court violator, but quickly released, over the objections of prosecutors with the Attorney General’s Office. Why Dillon Viens was inside Kirios’s home has not been disclosed by investigators.
“On Aug. 12, it will be six months since this happened,” David Viens said. “That realtor walked right into me. And by law, she should know about any type of that incident. There was a death in that house. Accidental or homicide, whatever it comes out to. It bothers me. It hurts.”
The home at 78 Cedar St. — 1,686 square feet and situated on a 0.14 acre lot — was built in 1920 and has been on the market since July 26, with a $445,000 listing price.
“Again, it feels like this is an open investigation regardless,” Viens said. “What if they have to go back in and track the blood trail all over the house? It’s way too soon for this place to be sold. It’s almost like they just want to hide this and run away and put this behind them. I just feel like this (property) should be in a standstill. The Johnston Police and the state still say this is an open investigation. They should have to wait before they sell it.”