Judge Sentences Co-Defendants to 8 Years

During a  sentencing March 6, three co-defendants received eight years in prison. 

Marcus Martin, 22, Marc Butler, 23, and William Cunningham, 32, are sentenced for voluntary manslaughter and assault with a dangerous weapon for their alleged roles in the shooting of 19-year-old Derryk Johnson on the 600 block of N Street, NW, on Aug.3, 2016. 

The men were originally charged with felony murder while armed, assault with the intent to kill, conspiracy, attempted robbery and firearms offenses.

As previously covered by DC Witness, the three defendants pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and assault with a dangerous weapon. Martin, Butler, and Cunningham were sentenced to 8 years in prison, followed by 5 years of supervised release. 

The three have already served nearly half of their sentence since being arrested in 2016. 

The prosecutor said the defendants acted together to do a senseless and brutal murder. She said that Johnson’s family was forever changed.

Johnson’s brothers found Johnson shot and bleeding on the ground, one held him while the other called 911. Their mother, who was so shocked by the murder, develped serious health problems and passed away a year later. 

“The loss they caused is senseless and immeasurable,” said the prosecution. 

Butler’s defense attorney, Dorsey Jones, said that his client ended up in this situation due to bad associations in life. He explained how Butler had ADHD, no father figure, and grew up in a crime ridden neighborhood, which contributed to his bad associations and decisions. 

“But he’s still young enough to change his behaviour under the right supervision” said Jones.  

Cunningham’s defense attorney, Kevin Mosley, instead, said that Cunningham was the oldest and fully accepted responsibility for his actions. He explained his client was sorry for his conduct, and keeps the victim’s family in his thoughts and prayers. 

Martin’s defense attorney, Dana Page, asked the judge to sentence her client under the Youth Rehabilitation Act. She said Martin expressed remorse and wanted to take responsibility for his actions. 

Page also said Martin had been the only one kept in solitary confinement for the past 4 years.  

Martin said he was sorry for the crime, adding that “all I think about is my son” and “after prison I wish to be an engineer or go to culinary school”. He said he regretted his actions and pleaded to be given another chance, so that he could be a good role model for his son and make the right decisions.

DC Superior Court Judge Craig Iscoe sentenced the three defendants to 8 years, saying it was the appropriate sentence. 

Judge Iscoe did impose Martin’s sentence under the Youth Rehabilitation Act. 

“I’m giving you a chance, but only one chance” said Judge Iscoe. 

This article was written by Lea Gianasso.