2012-03-01 / News

Island musician killed in West Warwick


MICHAEL PARRISH MICHAEL PARRISH Michael Parrish, a Jamestown native who was a member of the band Nasty Habits, was killed Saturday morning after being run over twice by a Jeep Cherokee. The three men charged in the incident were arraigned Tuesday.

Police said Justin Schoonmaker, 22, of West Warwick, was held without bail after being charged with first-degree murder. Christopher Schreffler, 20, of West Warwick, was also held without bail after he was charged with two counts of felony assault after allegedly striking Parrish and his nephew with a flashlight. Marvin Abercrombie, 23, of Providence, was charged with disorderly conduct and is being held on $20,000 surety bail.

The Providence Journal reports all three defendants were on probation at the time of the incident: Schoonmaker for third-degree arson and felony conspiracy, Schreffl er for felony assault and possession of a vehicle with an altered ID number, and Abercrombie for 11 counts of entering a building with felonious intent.

According to the Providence Journal, the incident began over a loud dirt bike. Parrish, 56, walked out of his sister’s house on Hartman Court in West Warwick to confront Schreffler about the noise the bike was making. Schreffler then rode away on his bike and returned with Schoonmaker and Abercrombie in Schoonmaker’s SUV.

Police say that the young men allegedly got out of the vehicle looking for a fight, and after some commotion, Schoonmaker got back into his SUV. With people gathering behind the vehicle, Schoonmaker put his vehicle in reverse. Police say that as Parrish began backing up, someone struck the SUV’s back window to alert the driver, but Schoonmaker maintains that he didn’t know anyone was behind him.

According to police, as Schoonmaker reversed, Parrish fell down and was run over. Schoonmaker allegedly then put the SUV in drive and ran over Parrish a second time. Parrish was pronounced dead shorty after at Kent County Hospital.

Parrish has been a staple in the music scene in Jamestown for years, routinely performing at the Narragansett Café with his band Nasty Habits. Parrish began his music career playing bass in local Rhode Island clubs with a country band. From there he shifted to southern rock with a band called The Free Wheels, before joining a four-piece Jamestown group called Sleeper.

In 1983, along with best friend Tony Longo, the pair formed the six-piece group Nasty Habits. They were a crowd favorite at the ’Ganny, and played there as recently as Jan. 28.

His band members said that everyone knew of his talent as a musician, but it was his perpetually positive smiling way that made everything he touched that much better. “He was totally modest and unselfish always putting others before him. Our hearts will forever bear the scar of his loss,” they wrote.

According to the band’s manager, Bob Flynn, the group’s next concert is scheduled for April 21 at the ’Ganny. He isn’t sure yet if the band will play. “It’s up to the fans,” he said.

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