Judge Lynn Leibovitz sentenced Irving Harris Johnson Thursday to 82 years in prison in connection with the shooting deaths of Domonique Barbour and Jimmie Lee Simmons III.
A jury convicted Johnson on two counts of first-degree murder and several related assault and firearms charges in February.
Witnesses testified at trial that Johnson had been having a dispute with Barbour and several of his friends. That dispute, prosecutors argued, culminated with Barbour and Simmons’ death on July 9, 2011.
One witness testified that while he and Johnson were housed in adjacent jail cells, Johnson admitted to killing two people because of a physical altercation that occurred some time ago. The witness said that Johnson’s original plan was to rob one of the men, but “someone made a certain move, so he pulled the trigger.”
Cell phone tower information introduced at trial showed that Johnson’s phone had been within a mile of the shooting location at the time of the incident. No weapons were ever recovered in connection with the case.
Sentencing documents are below.
A press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office is below:
WASHINGTON – Irvin Johnson, 27, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 82 years of incarceration for killing two men and wounding another, and shooting at a fourth man, in a pair of shootings in 2011, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.
Johnson was found guilty in February 2013 of a total of 15 charges following a two-week trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. They included two counts of first-degree premeditated murder, two counts of assault with intent to kill while armed, and numerous related firearms offenses. The Honorable Lynn Leibovitz sentenced him today.
According to the government’s evidence, the violence stemmed from a longstanding dispute between Johnson and the victims, stemming from a robbery that Johnson had committed against one of their friends in 2008. During the evening hours of June 21, 2011, Johnson and an associate entered the 1500 block of Spring Place NW and shot at a man. No one was injured during the shooting, but a number of cars and buildings in the block were damaged.
Nearly three weeks later, in the early morning hours of July 9, 2011, in the 1400 block of Parkwood Place NW, Johnson ambushed and executed by shooting in the head Jimmie Simmons, 32, and Dominique Barbour, 31. The defendant also shot Anthony Thomas, then 21, in the head and chest. Miraculously, Mr. Thomas survived. Sadly, after a year of struggling from the injuries inflicted by the defendant, Mr. Thomas took his own life.
Immediately after the shooting, Johnson went on the run. He hid at friends’ homes in Washington, D.C., and eventually fled to a relative’s house in Lusby, Md., where he was apprehended by the Capitol Area Regional Fugitive Task Force on Sept. 9, 2011.
During the sentencing hearing, family members of the victims emotionally expressed their deep sorrow for the loss of their loved ones. After reviewing submissions from the government, attorneys for the defendant, and many victim impact statements from the family members and friends of the victims, Judge Leibovitz sentenced the defendant to the 82-year prison term followed by five years of supervised release. Immediately before the judge imposed sentence, Johnson yelled out, “Just throw the book at me and be done with it. I got things to do.”
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen praised the outstanding investigative work of the Metropolitan Police Department, the U.S. Marshals Service, including the Superior Court Warrant Squad; the Capitol Area Regional Fugitive Task Force, and the Maryland State Police. Mr. Machen thanked Dr. Carolyn Revercomb, formerly of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of the District of Columbia, as well as the Court Supervision and Offender Services Agency. He expressed appreciation for the work of Paralegal Specialists Alesha Matthews, Meridith McGarrity, Sandra Lane, Sharon Newman, and Fern Rhedrick; Intelligence Analysts Lawrence Grasso and Sharon Johnson; Criminal Investigators Tommy Miller and Durand Odom; Witness Security Specialists David Foster, La June Thames, and Debra Cannon; Litigation Services Specialists Joshua Ellen, William Henderson and Paul Howell; and Victim Advocates Marcey Rinker and Christina Principe for their support. Mr. Machen acknowledged the work of Assistant United States Attorney Erin O. Lyons, who investigated the case and Assistant United States Attorneys Erin O. Lyons and Glenn L. Kirschner, who tried the case.