FALL RIVER — A 19-year-old Rehoboth man who accidentally shot and killed his friend in Dighton last June was sentenced to serve two and a half to three and a half years in state prison on Friday, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.

Joseph Medeiros pleaded guilty in Fall River Superior Court to indictments charging him with manslaughter, unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of a loaded firearm. In addition to the state prison sentence, Judge William Sullivan also placed the defendant on supervised probation for an additional five years and ordered him to complete 170 hours of community service.

On June 26, 2018, at around 6:45 p.m., Dighton Police responded to a shooting at 475 Forest Street. Once inside the home, first responders located the victim, 17-year-old Michael Pacheco, deceased from an apparent single gunshot wound to his chest. The victim, who resided at the Forest Street home, was hosting a group of friends at his house while his parents were out of state when the shooting occurred.

The investigation revealed that the shooter and the victim were close friends and that no animosity was displayed between the two young men. The defendant was manipulating the firearm at the kitchen table when it accidentally went off and struck the victim. The defendant initially fled the home, but soon afterward turned himself into Dighton Police.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Robert Digiantomaso.

“This is a tragedy for all of the parties involved, in particular, the victim and his family,” District Attorney Quinn said. “The bottom line is that if this defendant did not possess an illegal firearm, this would not have happened.”

--Bristol County District Attorney's Office