A DC Superior Court judge sentenced a domestic violence defendant to six years for shooting his brother.
Johnny Littlejohn pleaded guilty to assault with a dangerous weapon. As part of the plea deal, the prosecutor dropped his other charge of unlawful possession of a firearm with a prior conviction.
According to the proffer of facts, the 50-year-old defendant was on parole when he shot at his brother 11 times. Two of those shots struck the victim, who was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.
During the Sept. 10 hearing, Littlejohn said he never intended to cause harm and only had the gun out of concern for his own safety, but that the argument with his brother escalated so quickly that he couldn’t explain what happened. The argument, he said, was over his brother’s contact with his parole officer.
In a victim impact statement, Littlejohn’s brother called the shooting “unprovoked.” He said he originally approached the parole officer out of concern for the defendant’s family.
The prosecutor asked Judge Julie Becker to sentence Littlejohn to six years, pointing out his criminal history, which includes 17 years he spent in prison for a past offense. Defense attorney Gemma Stevens, however, requested a 64-month sentence.
Judge Becker said she understands the challenges that come with re-entering the community after spending time in prison but is concerned about the potential for him to commit more crimes in the future. She encouraged him to seek out drug and mental health treatment.
Littlejohn’s six-year sentence will be followed by three years of supervised release.