David Johnson, 20, of Mattapan, will serve six to eight years in state prison for giving an acquaintance a loaded .357 Colt Python that the guy used to murder Steven Odom - when he mistook one of Odom's friends for the gang rival he really meant to shoot, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.
Steven Odom, the son of a local minister, was walking down Evans Street in Dorchester on Oct. 4, 2007, when gunned down by Charles Bunch. Bunch himself was shot to death only ten days later.
Johnson pleaded guilty today in Suffolk Superior Court to charges of accessory before the fact to assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, accessory after the fact to murder, unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition, and being an armed career criminal. Prosecutors dismissed an additional count of accessory before the fact to murder, which would have sent him away for life, because of his willingness to plead guilty - and after input from Odom's family - the DA's office says.
“This resolution brings accountability, but it also brings a chance for redemption and the chance that this defendant can some day make amends for what he did," DA Dan Conley said in a statement. "It allows him the chance to intervene in other young lives and divert them from the path that led him here. It recognizes the Odom family's remarkable compassion, the defendant;s admissions and remorse, and our obligation to seek a just sentence."
Odom was walking to his Evans Street home with some friend around 8 p.m. when Bunch spotted them from his car and opened fire. After the shooting, he gave the gun back to Johnson and told him what had happened, the DA's office says.
At sentencing, Odom's father, Ronald Odom, Sr, spoke: "Our lives have been lives of pain and suffering and sorrow. ... The one message I hope can be promoted here today is, before we associate ourselves with anyone or anybody, to give long-term thinking. Think about the consequences we might face as a result of our involvement."
His mother, Kim, addressed Johnson: "Today many of us in the faith community observe this as Good Friday, and although it doesn't feel like a good Friday, I understand what this day represents. David, I believe in forgiveness. I believe in redemption and I believe in second chances, and I pray that today will be the turning point that will bring you to repentance and that God will develop the good in you."