The “no plea” entered was procedural. A Rhode Island lawfirm’s website explains:
District Court Arraignment on Felony Charges
If you have been charged with a felony offense, your initial appearance before the District Court will be slightly different. You will NOT be permitted to enter a plea, as the District Court lacks jurisdiction to accept a plea on felony criminal offenses. This means that the Court will inform you of the charges that have been brought by the prosecution. Additionally, the Court will decide whether to release the Defendant on bail or hold him without bail. Eventually, the Defendant will be provided with a notice to appear in the Superior Court for a Superior Court arraignment.