NoLibs gunman who left victim quadriplegic gets 60 years

Kevin Neary was shot and paralyzed in November. Family and friends have run fund-raisers. (Laurence Kesterson / Staff Photographer)
Kevin Neary was shot and paralyzed in November. Family and friends have run fund-raisers. (Laurence Kesterson / Staff Photographer)
Posted: September 13, 2012

Calling the shooting "as close to a homicide as a case could get," Judge Jeffrey Minehart on Wednesday sentenced Christopher Easton to 30 to 60 years in prison.

Easton, 21, pleaded guilty Tuesday to attempted murder just as jury selection was about to begin. Easton, also known as Christopher Easter, had held out entering a plea for months hoping that a trial would lead to a shorter sentence.

He faced a maximum sentence of 41 to 81 years.

He was immediately taken off to prison.

"Kids don't start out to be evil but they end up evil because of adults," Minehart said. "Clearly Mr. Easton did not have a supportive family but this is a particularly gruesome shooting."

Easton admitted to shooting Kevin Neary, a young entrepreneur who lived in Northern Liberties, during an attempted robbery.

Neary, 29, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, was walking home alone Nov. 15 after a night out with friends when Easton accosted him and demanded his wallet.

It contained only $16.

The bullet that tore through Neary's neck left him quadriplegic, unable to breathe on his own.

Easton, who was caught on tape by security cameras in the area and arrested three days later trying to escape through a friend's window in Philadelphia, maintained that he never intended to kill Neary.

Neary, who was in the courtroom Wednesday, said he couldn't hear the judge over the noise of his respirator but he was pleased, saying he felt "made whole" by the sentence.


Contact staff writer Melissa Dribben at mdribben@phillynews.com or 215-854-2590.

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