DIGHTON, Mass. (WPRI) — A Rehoboth man was sentenced to serve up to three-and-a-half years in state prison after he accidentally shot and killed his friend last June in Dighton, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn announced.
Quinn said Joseph Medeiros, 19, pleaded guilty in Fall River Superior Court to manslaughter, unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of a loaded firearm.
According to Quinn, Dighton police responded to a shooting on Forest Street on June 26, 2018 and found 17-year-old Michael Pacheco deceased from an apparent single gunshot wound to his chest.
The investigation revealed that Medeiros and Pacheco were close friends and no animosity was displayed between them moments before the shooting.
Medeiros was manipulating the weapon in Pacheco’s home when it accidentally went off and struck him.
“This is a tragedy for all the parties involved, in particular, the victim and his family,” Quinn said. “The bottom line is that if this defendant did not possess an illegal firearm, this would not have happened.”
Authorities say Medeiros initially fled the scene but later turned himself into Dighton police.
Medeiros was also placed on supervised probation for an additional five years and was ordered to complete 170 hours of community service.