The man responsible for helping in the 2006 murder of T.I.‘s friend and assistant Philant Johnson has been sentenced to 17 years in prison.
Padron Thomas appeared before a judge on Wednesday (June 24).
U.S. District Judge Sandra Beckwith sentenced Thomas to 17 years in prison on drug conspiracy and gun charges. Thomas, 41, became a key player in both the conspiracy case and the gun battle case when he agreed last year to cooperate with authorities. He testified in December against his brother, Hosea Thomas, who was sentenced to 66 years for shooting to death Philant “Big Phil” Johnson. Padron Thomas said he drove the car on May 3, 2006, when his brother exchange gunfire with members of Harris’ entourage, which had been involved in a dispute with Hosea Thomas at a bar earlier that night. (Cincinnati News)
Tip testified last fall and recounted what happened during the shoot-out.
Describing the aftermath, T.I. explained what happened when he noticed Johnson laying prone, after being shot in the head. “We called Phil’s name out, Phil didn’t respond,” T.I. said. When asked what his friend looked like, he responded: “Lifeless.” “I saw blood running down his face, his shirt was wet…He had an injury wound to the left temple.” Three other members were reportedly wounded, however Tip did not suffer any injuries. (Associated Press)
Despite testifying against his brother and possibly facing no prison time, Padron still landed nearly 20 years behind bars.
Opening statements began earlier this week as jury members were told Cincinnati local Thomas was responsible for the murder. Hosea’s brother, Padron, who was also involved in the shoot-out, stepped forward to testify against him. He now faces no prison time for his role in the murder of Johnson. (SOHH)
The shoot-out allegedly stemmed from a club incident in 2006.
Details emerged last June 2008 explaining that both men took issue with T.I. and his entourage, when they were denied didn’t allow them access to exclusive areas at a late night party and performance. Upon being turned down, a member from Tip’s crew allegedly struck one of the brothers in the head with a bottle and later taunted them. This led to the Thomas duo following the rapper’s crew in SUVs and exchanging gunfire. Johnson reportedly died as a result of this gun fire. (Cincinnati Enquirer)