A Dorchester woman who admitted to lying to a grand jury about her involvement in the 2007 homicide of a 13-year-old boy was sentenced today to 2 1/2 years in jail, though half that time will be suspended.
But Gunn claimed under oath in 2007 that she did not remember driving Darrell Rodrigues, 21, and Nurudeen Alabi, 22, to the Jamaica Plain station and picking them up soon after the shooting, and that she did not see the two men intimidate another witness who was in the car with them that night.
After prosecutors lodged perjury charges against Gunn, she admitted last month that she had, in fact, given the men a ride and that she also saw them intimidate the witness by holding a gun to her head, apparently to send a message to her not to go to police, prosecutors said.
Suffolk County Superior Court Judge Raymond Brassard sentenced Gunn to 2 1/2 years in jail, but she will serve only half that sentence, with the remaining 15 months to be suspended during three years of unsupervised probation. If Gunn stays out of trouble during probation, she will not have to serve the suspended time.
Gerena’s mother, Wendy Jiminian, said in a victim impact statement prior to the sentencing, “We miss him every day. My two youngest children will never know their brother. I believe she should do the maximum time in jail for not being truthful to the police and grand jury. My son deserves justice.’’
Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney Dana Pierce had asked for a 5-year prison sentence for Gunn, arguing that “she lied, over and over again. She gave no regard whatsoever to poor Luis Gerena.’’
Pierce said that although her recommendation exceeded sentencing guidelines, there were aggravating circumstances, such as Gerena’s age and Gunn’s alleged betrayal of a very close lifelong friend, the other passenger that Rodrigues and Alabi intimidated.
Rodrigues was sentenced to 15 years and Alabi to 17 years in Gerena’s death. Prosecutors say they settled for manslaughter charges in part because of the reluctance of Gunn to testify to what she actually saw.
In a statement, District Attorney Daniel F. Conley touted the state’s Witness Protection Program, pointing out that Gunn could have availed herself of the program.
“Destiny Gunn threw her future away to protect two men who killed a child,’’ Conley said in the statement. “The public needs to know that there are serious consequences here. If you lie to the grand jury, we’re going to indict you and we’re going to recommend prison time. … Destiny Gunn lied to protect two killers and she has to pay the price.’’
Gunn’s attorney, Charles Jordan, argued that his client should not be made an example because the “stop-snitching’’ culture is pervasive in homicide investigations. Jordan suggested that Gunn was also subjected to intimidation.
“The government, with all due respect, doesn’t live in her neighborhood with her,’’ he said.
Gunn will be allowed to be with her family during the holiday season, but must surrender to authorities on Jan. 5 to begin serving her sentence at the Suffolk Jail.