Retired Submariner's Sad WalkDarrel Johnson had retired from the submarine Navy. No doubt some of the older vets may have encountered or known him during their service. He had been living in east Tacoma since retiring from the Port of Tacoma as an electrician. Johnson was a few weeks shy of 70.
He set out for his daily walk last January, using a cane he needed after his hip replacement. Witnesses said an attacker knocked him to the ground, kicked him in the face, and stomped his head before running away. Johnson lingered in a coma for a week, and died. No motive was ever established, although robbery was alleged and gangs are rife.
A month later, 19-year-old Andrew Brown pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in exchange for dropping the death penalty. Under sentencing guidelines, 30 years was the maximum, allowable sentence.
When the judge sentenced Brown, a woman shouted 30 years in prison is unfair because the victim "wasn't going to live forever." The 20- second courtroom brawl that followed was captured on video. I have not watched it, and do not recommend that anyone should.
CBS calls the brawl strange and offbeat. No, the attitude expressed by the woman was strange and offbeat! I am saddened for Johnson and his entire family, some of whom had forgiven this senseless victimization of an honorable veteran.