Gang member found guilty in shooting

Victim hit 3 times in back, paralyzed

By Travis Andersen
Globe Staff / April 22, 2011

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A reputed gang member was convicted yesterday of shooting Tramane Smith, a former friend, on a Dorchester street and leaving him paralyzed after the victim said he wanted to turn away from their shared life of crime.

A jury found Donald R. Williams, 26, guilty of several charges, including armed assault with intent to murder. He is already serving an eight- to nine-year sentence for another shooting and faces up to 20 years in prison on the attempted murder charge, according to the office of Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley. Jake Wark, Conley’s spokesman, declined to discuss what prosecutors may recommend for sentencing on the charges.

Conley adamantly denied the assertion by Williams’s lawyer at trial that Smith lied on the stand so police would overlook his role in the October 2007 shooting death of Steven Odom, 13, in Dorchester.

“The defense here falsely claimed that [Smith] was complicit in Steven Odom’s murder,’’ Conley’s statement said. “This case had nothing to do with Steven Odom. Steven’s death was brought into this case as smoke and mirrors to distract the jury from the defendant’s cold-blooded attempt to murder Tramane Smith and then keep him from testifying about it.’’

Williams’s attorney, Rosemary C. Scapicchio of Boston, fired back last night in a phone interview.

“If it’s smoke and mirrors, it’s on their side for . . . protecting a murderer,’’ she said.

During the trial, prosecutors said that on the night of Nov. 23, 2007, Smith, now 24, told Williams he no longer wanted to be a member of the Greenwood Street Packers, a gang Williams led. Smith returned a handgun Williams had given him, authorities said.

Hours later, said prosecutors, an incensed Williams shot Smith three times in the back as the victim walked toward his girlfriend’s home on Torrey Street.

Smith, who now uses a wheelchair, testified that Williams then shot him in the face and said, “That’s what you get.’’

Smith also testified during the trial that he was in a car on Oct. 4, 2007, with his cousin, Charles Bunch, when Bunch exited the vehicle and shot Odom.

Bunch was killed less than two weeks later. Another man, David Johnson, confessed to giving Bunch the gun used in Odom’s death. Johnson is serving six to eight years in prison.

During his testimony in the Williams’s trial, Smith denied that he cut a deal with prosecutors.

He also testified that he distanced himself from Bunch after Odom’s death and called him a “kid killer’’ to his face.

Scapicchio said Smith clearly knew he could avoid charges in Odom’s death if he helped prosecutors convict her client. She said that by his own admission, Smith is guilty of being a coconspirator in the Odom killing, which would normally lead to an arrest.

’’He’s as guilty as anyone else [whom] they prosecute for that offense,’’ she said. “He testified before a grand jury that he understood [he and Bunch] were going to get a gun.’’

Odom’s mother, Kim Odom, declined yesterday to say whether she felt Smith should be charged in her son’s death.

“For me it just shows how the cycle of this violence is . . . I use the word ‘so vicious,’ ’’ she said.

In gang disputes, she said, “there are innocent [victims] like my son, and not just my son, but so many other people.’’

Travis Andersen can be reached at