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8 years for man who shot Pepco worker

Washington Post Editors

A D.C. Superior Court judge Friday sentenced a Northwest man to eight years in prison for the 2009 shooting of a Pepco worker as the employee was working near Rhode Island and First Streets NW.

Judge Ronna L. Beck’s sentencing of Marlo Johnson, 18, follows Johnson’s guilty plea in May to the shooting of worker Eric Thompson as Thompson and several co-workers were trying to restore power to residences and businesses in the neighborhood on Dec. 3.

According to court records, Johnson, of the 1900 block of First St. NW, was walking down the street around 7:15 p.m. when Johnson made eye contact with James Holley, one of the workers in the group, and asked “What are you looking at?”

Johnson then walked up to Holley and pushed him, according to court records. During a fight, Johnson punched Holley in the face and then ran away.

Sitting in a Pepco van, the workers worried Johnson would return, court records said. He did, carrying a .22 caliber pistol.

“Where is he at?” Johnson allegedly yelled.

Thompson tried closing the van’s door, court records said, but as he did shot Thompson once in the back of his head. Thompson continues to recover from the shooting.

Johnson, who was 17 at the time of the shooting, was charged as an adult.

-- Keith L. Alexander

By Washington Post Editors  |  August 27, 2010; 2:01 PM ET
Categories:  From the Courthouse , Keith L. Alexander , The District  
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I have known this boy since he was a baby and he has been nothing but trouble. His mother does not believe he does anything wrong which only made him worse.
when we told him he was going to big boy jail he cried like the little punk he is. Always stealing cars and robbing people and getting out of jail time and time again. He copped to this cause they were going to give him 25 years. It runs in the family cause his uncle is doing life for running the 1st street crew back in the 90's. Hope to never see this fake thug again.

Posted by: bigheadbull2 | August 27, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Well if shooting an unarmed utility worker doesn't make you tough then what does?

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | August 27, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the info Bigheadbull- This is a sad story in our city that seems to repeat itself way too often. There is nothing 'fake' about shooting another human being. I,too, hope this criminal never gets out of jail.

Posted by: 10bestfan | August 27, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

bigheadbull2..I too know them well and grew up in the area..but why get online and bash him and his family instead of helping him before it got to this point..reach back/help somebody else instead of being so negative, that's really uncalled for. His uncle will get out, believe it.

Posted by: veholland | August 27, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse


I remember that crew from around 1st street and knew some who went away and trust me you wouldn't have said nothing close to this in their face if they were home. It makes you look dumb for coming on here going on the youngin like that, when you say you knew him as a baby. If you knew him then why didn't you try to talk to him? Or were you to scared to say anything stupid to him for fear of being chumped right there on the spot. The judge actually looked out for him by giving only 8 years, which mean he'll be out in like 6 and some change. Hopefully he'll get with some older jokers in the feds and they will guide him and teach him, like you should've done when he was out here, but was too scared. I wonder how you would've reacted if you were looking at 8 years and couldn't be behind your computer "going hard on the internet"? I'm sure now that Mr. Johnson knows what he did was dumb and now he'll have to pay the price for what he has done.

Posted by: PublicEnemy1 | August 27, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Marlo has made mistakes, terrible ones, and hurt others immensely. That does not change the fact that he also has many wonderful qualities. As his former teacher I have known him to be nothing but a respectful, thoughtful, kind young man. I am a better person for having gotten the chance to work with him. I am not interested in making excuses for his actions or defending them. Just felt compelled to paint a fuller picture of this individual. Anger directed towards him is certainly understandable and justified. It's not that I'm naive, it's just that I try to follow one example - Christ - and his message doesn't allow me to dehumanize Marlo by reducing him to "thug" or "punk" like others have been dismissing him as... My belief is that all are redeemable and all have dignity. I do not mean to disrespect Marlo's victims by writing all this. He/they never deserved the trauma they have suffered at his hands. That's my two cents. Peace to all who have commented; I DO understand where you are coming from and I share your pain and anger at the seemingly endless and senseless violence.

Posted by: allarebelovedofgod | August 27, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

As an FYI, he will serve all 8 years. In DC, you go to federal prison, even for crimes of violence that are local in nature. If he behaves perfectly in jail, he could, potentially, serve 15% less. But, it is guaranteed that he will serve 85% of the time.

The victim did nothing wrong at all. Johnson was walking down the street, made eye contact with the victim's co-worker, and got into a fight with him. The victim's co-worker actually got the better of Johnson, thereby embarrassing him in front of his friends. Johnson left to get a gun, and the victim tried to protect his co-worker. In exchange, he got shot in the head.

Everyone has redeeming qualities, but in a crime as senseless and heinous as this, a lot of incarceration is certainly warranted

Posted by: samsung2 | August 27, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Any truth to the rumor Johnson believed these workers were cops-in-disguise who had the area under surveillance? I'm not saying that would make what he did okay, just wondering whether we can also consider this one more reason to re-think the drug policies in effect while things have gotten steadily worse over the last 30 years.

Posted by: Constituted | August 30, 2010 12:05 AM | Report abuse

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