WRENTHAM — A former local man has been denied parole for his role, when he was a teenager, in the torture and slaying of a 17-year-old local boy in 1993.
Christopher Pucillo, now 40, formerly of Wrentham, has been in prison for 23 years for the beating, stabbing and drowning of 17-year-old Ralph “Jimmy” Tracy on June 3, 1993 at Galvin’s Pond in Sharon.
He was convicted of first-degree murder and was originally sentenced in 1995 to life in prison without parole. But a state Supreme Judicial Court ruling in 2013 found that sending juvenile homicide offenders to jail without parole was unconstitutional.
Pucillo’s first bid for parole was denied in 2014.
The Parole Board voted 3-3 earlier this month, falling short of the two-thirds vote required for parole approval.
His case was heard in November and will be reviewed again this November, according to the board’s ruling.
Pucillo and his two co-defendants drank alcohol with Tracy in a secluded wooded area at Galvin’s Pond before they made plans to attack the youth, according to the parole board.
Tracy was knocked to the ground, beaten and sodomized with a stick. He was then dragged to the edge of the pond where his head was held under water before he was stabbed in the neck, according to the parole board.
Pucillo admitted to taking part in kicking and beating but said Shawn Fisher assaulted Tracy with the stick and stabbed him.
Shawn Fisher, who was 20 at the time, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in April 1995. He was denied parole in July 2009 and will be up again for review in July 2019.
The third man, Joseph Gauthier, then 23, of Foxboro, was acquitted of the murder.
The board said all three defendants over the years have told different versions of events that night.
The board noted Pucillo has had few disciplinary problems in prison, started efforts at rehabilitation before knowing he would be eligible for parole and has attained a college degree.
However, the board ruled Pucillo “has not yet demonstrated a level of rehabilitative progress that would make his release compatible with the welfare of society.”
The board heard testimony from supporters, including Pucillo’s mother and aunt, in addition to a forensic psychologist. They also heard from the victim’s sister, uncle, a Norfolk County prosecutor and the Sharon police chief.