A judge in Chicago on Friday sentenced Michael Selvie to 55 years in prison for the murder of Willie Posey, the best friend of Bengals defensive tackle Tank Johnson.
But at the sentencing, the Chicago Tribune reports, Judge Joseph Claps reserved his harshest words not for Selvie but for Johnson. The 2006 incident that resulted in Posey’s death began with Johnson, who then played for the Bears, bumping into Selvie at a nightclub. And it ended with Johnson running away and then lying to police about what happened.
“Mr. Johnson has to live with his behavior that night, his failure to render aid to a person he described as his best friend . . . his cowardice and his attempts at self-preservation,” Claps said.
At Selvie’s trial, Johnson admitted that he had lied to police and said he wasn’t present for the shooting, saying he did so in the fear that the Bears would release him if they knew the truth. In reality, the Bears stood behind Johnson at that point, even though he had recently violated his probation by having unregistered weapons at his home.
The Bears did eventually release Johnson, after he was arrested for suspicion of DUI during the 2007 offseason. Johnson has avoided legal trouble in the three years since then while playing for the Cowboys and Bengals.