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Suspect pleads guilty to 2012 Pawtucket murder; gets 60 years

October 1, 2013

PROVIDENCE — A 20-year-old man with the nickname of “Damage” pleaded guilty Tuesday before Superior Court Justice Robert D. Krause to second-degree murder for the July 6, 2012, murder of Joshua Burgo of Pawtucket.

Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin announced the plea involving Darrell “Damage” Johnson, who had a last known address of 69 John St., Pawtucket. In accordance with the plea agreement, Johnson was sentenced to 60 years, with 32½ years to serve and the remainder suspended with probation, on the count of murder; and 10 years, to run concurrent, on the count of carrying a pistol without a license.

Had the case proceeded to trial, Kilmartin said the state was prepared to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that on July 6, 2012, Johnson shot Burgo in the chest, killing him, behind the Nathanael Greene Elementary School in Pawtucket following an altercation between two groups.

After murdering Burgo, who was the father of a young child, Johnson fled the state and was later apprehended by U.S. Marshals in Virginia. He was extradited to Rhode Island, arraigned, and has been held without bail on the murder charge.

“The lives of two young men were irrevocably changed by this senseless murder. Joshua Burgo was only 20 when his life was tragically cut short by 18-year-old Darrell Johnson, who brazenly shot and killed him in cold blood, leaving him to die on the ground behind a school,” said Kilmartin. “Although Darrell Johnson attempted to flee, his attempt to evade justice was thwarted.”

Pawtucket Police Detectives David Silva and Donti Rosciti led the investigation. Special Assistant Attorney General Roger R. Demers prosecuted the case on behalf of the Office of Attorney General.

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