Defendants Face Murder Charges In Puopolo's Death

A Massachusetts Superior Court yesterday set March 8 as the trial date for the three defendants charged with the first degree murder of Harvard football player, Andrew Puopolo '77, who died December 17 from stab wounds he received in the Combat Zone in November.

The court psychiatrist, Dr. Eugene Balcanoff, has found the defendants, Edward J. Soares, age 33, Leon Easterling, age 41, and Richard Allen, age 36, all of Boston and Roxbury, to be mentally competent and fit to stand trial.

Thomas J. Mundy Jr., assistant district attorney of the Suffolk County Superior Court, will prosecute the case for the state and for the two victims. The second victim is Thomas Lincoln '77 who has recovered from stab wounds he received during the same incident.

The defendants, who were originally charged with assault with the intent to murder and assault with a dangerous weapon were arraigned on charges of first degree murder after Puopolo died.

One witness, a physician on the staff of the Tufts New England Medical Center, was called to testify in from of the grand jury which arraigned the defendants on December 18. No other witnesses have yet been presented for the prosecution.