Bristol Township teen gets back-to-back life sentences for fatal prom night shooting

Jim Melwert
May 03, 2019 - 4:58 pm
Joseph Williams will stand trial on two counts of criminal homicide.

Jim Melwert | KYW Newsradio

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BRISTOL TOWNSHIP, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — A 19-year-old will spend the rest of life in state prison for killing two men in Bristol Township last year, as his friends gathered to take photos before their prom.

Joey Williams was sentenced to back-to-back life sentences for the murders of Zyisean McDuffie and Tommy Ballard, both 19-years-old.

Prosecutor Antonetta Stancu says the murders were part of an ongoing feud between two neighborhoods.

“I think that by sentencing Mr. Williams the way he did, consecutively to two life sentences acknowledging both the victims, the judge has sent the message that the cycle needs to stop.”

Related: Teen will stand trial on 2 counts of murder for prom night shooting

Williams was in the juvenile system for retail theft and then aggravated assault of a faculty member, but he was out on a weekend furlough, released the day of the murders.

Williams was with friends as they were getting ready to go to the prom when McDuffie and Ballard showed up and a fight started.

The father of one of the teens involved, Gary Goddard, also fired a gun. He was convicted of attempted murder and his sentencing is scheduled for June.