LUBBOCK, Texas — Darius Johnson, Jr., 19, was sentenced by a jury to 20 years in prison after he was found guilty of Murder in the 2022 shooting death of Steven Colón, 39.

Officers were called to the 1700 block of 25th Street on June 5. Colón’s family previously told he was shot after an argument while working on cars next door to his father’s house. A medical examiner testified Colón was shot more than once.

During the punishment phase of the trial, prosecutor Laura Beth Fossett questioned whether Johnson, also known as “D5,” told the jury the truth. She said Johnson took the stand and claimed he never shot a gun before, which Fossett called a lie. Fossett told the jury she proved he used a gun just days before.

“Darius Johnson took a life. A life that had love,” Fossett said.

Fossett reminded the jury the sentence given to Johnson would show citizens of Lubbock that “you can’t go shoot an unarmed man in this community.”

Defense attorney Jeff Nicholson said the idea Fossett had proven Johnson lied was “not entirely correct.” According to Nicholson, Johnson made a “stupid decision.”

Nicholson said he was asked in similar situations why the defendant shot the victim.

“I say because he had a gun,” Nicholson said. “We have a problem with guns.”

Nicholson called it a “travesty” that Colón and Johnson could not see their children again. Nicholson said Johnson had never been in trouble before, “other than getting into it with his stepdad.”

A friend of both Colón and Johnson previously testified he went with Johnson to Rosa’s to get a cake for his birthday, which was the day of the shooting. The friend said Johnson told him that he “wanted a body” for his birthday. The friend also testified that Johnson told him he thought Colón had something in his hand, like a stick or a shovel, and felt like he was going to hit him. 

Johnson will have to serve half his time before he is eligible for parole.