Love Thy Neighbor: Son’s Killer Moves Next Door

Exemplary Christianity!

(CBS News) Minneapolis – In Minnesota, a young man was murdered and his killer was sent to prison. Then, as CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman reports, the story took a surprising turn. 

In a small apartment building in North Minneapolis – a 59-year-old teacher’s aid sings praise to God for no seemingly apparent reason. Indeed, if anyone was to have issues with the Lord, it would be Mary Johnson. 

In February 1993, Mary’s son, Laramiun Byrd, was shot to death during an argument at a party. He was 20, and Mary’s only child. 

“My son was gone,” she says. 

The killer was a 16-year-old kid named Oshea Israel. 

Mary wanted justice. “He was an animal. He deserved to be caged.” 

And he was. Tried as an adult and sentenced to 25 and a half years — Oshea served 17 before being recently released. He now lives back in the old neighborhood – next door to Mary. 

How a convicted murder ended-up living a door jamb away from his victim’s mother is a story, not of horrible misfortune, as you might expect – but of remarkable mercy…

You can read that story (with a short news video) here.

Mercy… and grace…


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