Guilty plea in home-invasion beating of Democratic committeewoman, 87

Jimmy Morrison, a former neighbor, pleaded guilty in the 2012 home invasion robbery in which an 87-year-old Democratic committeewoman and her 62-year-old son were beaten and stabbed in their West Philadelphia home.
Jimmy Morrison, a former neighbor, pleaded guilty in the 2012 home invasion robbery in which an 87-year-old Democratic committeewoman and her 62-year-old son were beaten and stabbed in their West Philadelphia home.
Posted: February 26, 2014

A former neighbor pleaded guilty Monday in the 2012 home invasion robbery in which an 87-year-old Democratic committeewoman and her 62-year-old son were beaten and stabbed in their West Philadelphia home.

Jimmy Morrison, 43, pleaded guilty in Common Pleas Court to two counts of aggravated assault, burglary, and a weapons charge involving the July 31, 2012, attack that seriously injured Yvonne Gaines and James Brinkley.

Morrison's guilty plea occurred the day jury selection was to have begun in his trial. Defense attorney William J. Ciancaglini said the plea deal reached with the District Attorney's Office includes a 9-to-20-year prison term. Judge Carolyn H. Nichols set sentencing for March 11.

Although Morrison has recently lived at addresses in Chester and Feltonville, Assistant District Attorney Kristen Stretz said that for years he lived across from the victims' home in the 5600 block of Catharine Street.

It was likely because they were neighbors, Stretz said, that Brinkley allowed Morrison to enter after he knocked on their door at 3:10 a.m. and asked to use the bathroom.

Morrison immediately beat and stabbed Brinkley with scissors and then did the same to Gaines, who was upstairs in bed, before ransacking the house and fleeing with some jewelry. Stretz said Morrison was looking for money to buy drugs.

The attack prompted State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams and City Councilwoman Jannie L. Blackwell to offer a $5,000 reward for Morrison's arrest.


jslobodzian@phillynews.com

215-854-2985 @joeslobo

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