Ex-neighbor gets 9 to 20 years in bloody home invasion

Posted: March 13, 2014

A former neighbor who admitted committing a 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 was sentenced to 9 to 20 years in prison Tuesday.

Jimmy Morrison, 43, said nothing before he was sentenced by Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Carolyn H. Nichols based on his guilty plea last month to two counts of aggravated assault, burglary and a weapons charge involving the July 31, 2012, attack that seriously injured Yvonne Gaines and son James Brinkley.

Gaines did not appear for the sentencing but Assistant District Attorney Kristen Stretz read a letter in which Gaines described her sense of betrayal and shock in the attack by a neighbor she had often helped.

Gaines' letter said the attack shocked the community and the church of which she and other neighbors are members.

Morrison has recently lived at addresses in Chester and Feltonville, but for years he lived across the street from Gaines and Brinkley.

It was likely that reason, Stretz said, that Brinkley let him in when Morrison knocked on the door at 3:10 a.m. at their home in the 5600 block of Catharine Street and asked to use the bathroom.

When Brinkley admitted Morrison, police said, Morrison beat and stabbed the older man 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's motive was to get money for 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

www.inquirer.com/crimeandpunishment

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