Johnny Ouch, who wounded a man in a shooting at the Da Block Studios in the Old Port nearly two years ago, will go to prison for seven years, a judge ruled Tuesday at the Cumberland County Courthouse in Portland.

Ouch, 22, of Westbrook, was sentenced to 14 years for elevated aggravated assault with a firearm, with all but seven years suspended. He will also have four years of probation once he is released, Superior Court Justice Andrew Horton ruled.

Ouch and Gang Deng Majok took guns to the recording studio for a social gathering on Memorial Day weekend in 2015. Once there, Ouch got into an argument with Mohamed Ali, a rival dating back to his high school days, that soon escalated into gunfire, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Marchese told Horton. Ouch fired five shots and wounded Ali, while one of Majok’s shots hit Trey Arsenault, 19, a bystander, who was killed in the gunfire.

Majok pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to 30 years for killing Arsenault.

Ali recovered from the shooting and moved out of state, Marchese said. He wasn’t at Tuesday’s sentencing.

After the shooting, Ouch initially tried to have his brother get rid of the gun he used and lied to police, his lawyers said, but he eventually agreed to cooperate and pleaded guilty. He would have testified against Majok if that case had gone to trial, according to one of his attorneys, Kevin Moynihan.

Ouch’s lawyers and prosecutors had agreed to cap the basic sentence at 16 years, but disagreed over how much time he would serve.

Marchese asked for 16 years, with all but 12 years suspended, saying “it was a miracle” that more people weren’t shot in the packed, small control room of the studio,

And although there’s no evidence that Majok and Ouch planned the shooting beforehand, the fact that Ouch brought a gun to a party argued for a stiff sentence, Marchese said.

“It’s important that we send a strong message that discharging a weapon in a small space with a lot of young people around is the wrong way to solve a verbal altercation,” she said.

Ouch spoke briefly at the sentencing, telling Horton he was sorry for the shooting and took responsibility for what he did.

He had about a dozen family members present in the courtroom, but they declined to comment after his sentencing.

Horton said the minimum sentence for the charge is four years because a firearm was involved. The maximum was 30 years, and Horton said he took the halfway point between those two as his starting point. Then, he said he deducted time because mitigating factors – Ouch’s youth, his cooperation with authorities and family support – outweighed the aggravating factors and led him to a basic charge of 14 years, with half of the time suspended.

“I think that anything less than that would really diminish the gravity of this offense,” he said. “When you bring guns to a social gathering of young people, that’s a recipe for disaster.”

Moynihan said lawyers are likely to seek a review of the sentence.

Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at:

[email protected]

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.