Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin has announced that Melissa Castle, (age 35), of Portsmouth, pleaded guilty in Newport County Superior Court today before Justice Stephen P. Nugent to one count of second-degree murder for the death of Rachael S. Kilroy, of Middletown.  Under the terms of the plea, which was reached with the approval of the victim’s family, Castle was sentenced to 50 years with 35 years to serve and the remainder suspended with probation.

Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove that on August 25, 2015, Melissa Castle used her hands to strangle Rachael Kilroy after the two had an argument inside the apartment where Kilroy lived at 50 Jean Street in Middletown. When being interviewed by detectives at the Middletown Police Department, the defendant admitted to strangling Kilroy.

“An argument between friends turned violent, resulting in the tragic death of a daughter, mother, and sister,” said Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin.  “Rachael’s family misses her deeply every day, and it is my sincere hope that today’s plea will aid them in the healing process of losing a loved one.”

Middletown Police Detective Adam Tobias and Lieutenant Richard Gamache led the investigation, and Assistant Attorney General Roger Demers prosecuted the case on behalf of the Office of Attorney General.

Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at and 401-662-1653.