A Medford man was found guilty of murder on Friday in the slaying of a 27-year-old Stoneham native and US Army veteran during a drug transaction in 2013, according to the Middlesex district attorney’s office.
Jessie Williams, 26, was convicted of first-degree murder on Friday for the shooting death of Joseph Puopolo Jr., the office of District Attorney Marian T. Ryan said in a statement. Williams was also found guilty of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, armed robbery, armed assault in a dwelling, and possession of a firearm without a license, Ryan’s office said.
Another man, Eugene Tate, 21, of Malden, was also convicted in Nov. 2015 of first-degree murder and other charges for Puopolo’s murder, and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, according to the district attorney’s office.
On July 3, 2013, Puopolo was fatally shot in the chest and the wrist at a home on Micah’s Pond Way in Stoneham shortly after midnight, Ryan’s office said. A second victim, a 28-year-old man who has not been publicly identified, was shot in the abdomen and survived, the district attorney’s office said.
On the day of the shooting, Puopolo had been invited to the home where the second victim had scheduled a drug deal with Williams and Tate, Ryan’s office said. At the exchange, Williams and Tate drew handguns, demanding drugs and money, before shooting the victims, the district attorney said.
An attorney for Williams could not be reached for comment on Friday night.
Puopolo’s mother, Dolores Puopolo, said she is still angry over the circumstances surrounding her son’s death and described the trials of Williams and Tate as a “two-year nightmare.” She did not attend the trials herself because, she said, “as a mother, I don’t think I could have handled any of that.”
Dolores Puopolo said Williams’ conviction on Friday has brought her no closure in the loss of her son.
“Everybody loved [Joseph]. He lit up a room, he could make anybody laugh,” she said. “And you know what’s ironic? He served a year in Afghanistan, and to come home in my hometown and to get killed.”
Williams will be sentenced on March 10 in Middlesex Superior Court.
Puopolo served as an infantryman in Afghanistan from October 2010 to October 2011. His last unit was a battalion of the Fourth Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, stationed at Fort Polk, La., before his discharge in 2012, an Army spokeswoman said.
“Joseph Puopolo was a young man whose life was cut short because the defendant and his associate Eugene Tate turned an illegal drug deal into a violent and ultimately deadly altercation,” Ryan said in the statement. “Our thoughts remain with the family and loved ones of Joseph Puopolo with today’s guilty verdict.”Brian Ballou and Brian MacQuarrie of the Globe Staff contributed to this report. Olivia Arnold can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @olivia_arnold12.