Saturday, 2:15 PM
Suffolk DA: Killer in Steven Odom case is dead; accomplice arrested
(Suffolk District Attorney's Office)
Mug shots of Charles Bunch Jr. of Roxbury and David Johnson of Mattapan.
By Kathy McCabe, Globe Staff
The man who fatally shot 13-year-old Steven Odom in Dorchester in 2007 died shortly after the crime and his accomplice has now been arrested, law enforcement officials said today.
Odom, who attended James P. Timilty Middle School in Roxbury, was killed on his way home from playing basketball with friends on Oct. 4, 2007. Shot in the head, he fell on Evans Street, several feet from his house. His death sparked outrage and calls to end the violence on the city's streets.
The man who killed Odom, Charles Bunch Jr. of Roxbury was an 18-year-old who died himself 10 days after Odom, said Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley. Conley said Bunch fired a .357-caliber Colt Python revolver at Odom and his friends after mistaking one of Odom's friends for a rival gang member.
Bunch, a senior at Jeremiah Burke High School in Dorchester, was found shot on Orlando Street in Mattapan on Oct. 14, 2007.
Conley said there was no evidence to suggest that Bunch's slaying was retaliation for Odom's death. He vowed that investigators would commit the same resources to finding Bunch's killer as they would in any homicide case.
“As prosecutors, our job is to see that justice is done in a courtroom, not on the street. What happened to Charles Bunch when he was gunned down wasn’t justice – it was homicide. And more to the point of today's announcement, it cheated Mr. and Mrs. Odom of the right to see their son's killer held to answer for the life he took. The murder of Charles Bunch Jr., doesn't alleviate the tragedy of Steven Odom's murder -- it compounds it," he said.
Conley also announced the arrest of David Johnson, 19, of Mattapan, saying Johnson had provided the pistol to Bunch that had fired the fatal shot.
Johnson, who was arrested Friday afternoon, faces charges that include being an accessory before the fact to murder, being an accessory after the fact, and unlawfully possessing the murder weapon.
Johnson provided Bunch with the pistol "with the knowledge and shared intent that it be used to kill a rival," Conley said.
Johnson, who faces a potential life sentence, is to be arraigned Monday in Suffolk Superior Court, Conley said.
Steven Odom was a minister's son who stayed away from drugs and trouble. He loved video games, cracking jokes, and had played drums since picking up a pair of drumsticks at his church when he was a toddler, the Globe reported in 2007.
"Every life has meaning. Every life has value. But the lives of children are especially precious because they hold such promise and potential," Conley said of Odom's slaying. "We lost much more than a 13-year-old boy. We lost the good man he would have become."
“Steven’s memory urges us as a city to turn away from the twisted code of conduct that took his life. It demands we confront the epidemic of young men who turn guns on other young men with no regard for who gets hurt," Conley said. He said the violence was "a war that has to end."