- Last Updated: 3:22 PM, March 8, 2013
- Posted: 1:49 PM, March 8, 2013
You're just a vicious racist, a Manhattan judge said in sentencing a psychotic gunman to life in prison for holding 15 white patrons of an East Village wine bar hostage ten years ago.
Steven Johnson -- an African-American, AIDS-infected, unemployed Brooklyn barber -- had burst into Bar Veloce on Second Avenue just before closing time on a June night in 2002, dousing everyone with kerosene and shouting, "White people are going to burn tonight!"
Ten years, one mistrial and one overturned verdict later, Johnson was up to his old tricks again at his sentencing today -- ranting on about the economic collapse and comparing himself to the great terrorists of yore.
"In closing, I'd just like to say, f--- you and suck my d---," he told Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Daniel FitzGerald.
The judge had the last word. First he turned down Johnson's crude oral application, telling the creep, "Your pro se motion is denied."
Then he sentenced Johnson to 240 years to life.
"Mr. Johnson, you deluded yourself into believing not only that night, but even now, that you were and are a great man of some substance and significance," the judge said.
"But in your 15 minutes of fame you proved to be no more than a malevolent and vicious racist. You accomplished nothing that night except instilling terror in the hearts of innocent, decent people, injuring some of them," he added.
"You showed no mercy toward your victims that night, and therefore you'll receive none from me."
The sentence got the stamp of approval of Margret-Ann Gidley, who was a 23-year-old waitress when she heroically made the first move to end the 40-minute hostage-police standoff.
Despite being bound at the wrists with plastic cuffs and covered in kerosene, Gidley jumped Johnson and hurled him to the floor when he started ranting about how no one was getting out alive.
Asked if she was satisfied by the sentence, Gidley, who had testified tearfully at Johnson's original insanity defense trial and his two re-trials, gave a one-word answer: "Yes."