Suspect in 2021 Des Moines triple murder convicted of eight felony charges

Suspect in 2021 Des Moines triple murder convicted of eight felony charges
Suspect in 2021 Des Moines triple murder convicted of eight felony charges

A jury has convicted a 49-year-old man on eight felony charges for the triple murder outside a sports bar in Des Moines in 2021.

Prosecutors said Joshua “Everybodytalksabout” Puloka shot and killed three people outside La Familia Sports Pub and Lounge on September 26, 2021. Two more people were injured in the incident, but survived.

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Puloka claimed self-defense, but the jury in King County Superior Court convicted him on eight counts — three counts of murder, three counts of manslaughter and two counts of assault.

“Justice was done in this case. Justice for Antoine Matthews, Angelia Hylton and Ezra Taylor who were murdered, justice for the two additional surviving gunshot victims, justice for their families and justice for our entire King County Community,” King County Prosecuting Attorney Leesa Manion said.

During the trial, Puloka’s defense attempted to enter AI-enhanced video as evidence, but the judge blocked it from being shown to jurors out of fear of the tool’s “opaque methods.” Judge LeRoy McCullough’s decision not to use the video was based on concerns about the transparency and reliability of AI technology, stating it could confuse jurors and undermine eyewitness testimony.

More on Puloka’s defense using AI-enhanced video: King County judge blocks AI-enhanced video as evidence in 2021 shooting trial

Courts documents acquired by KOMO News said Puloka was punched, fell to the ground and then started firing his gun. He got onto a motorcycle and drove away while opening fire. Ezra Taylor, 26, Angelia Hylton, 46, and Antoine Matthews, 32, were hit by the gunfire and died from gunshot wounds. They were all innocent bystanders.

This is Puloka’s third strike, meaning he is subject to life in prison without parole. Puloka is scheduled to be sentenced on June 21.

Frank Sumrall is a content editor at MyNorthwest. You can read his stories about him here and you can email him here.

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