Kevin Neary came to court in his wheelchair to face the man who put a bullet in his head nearly a year ago, paralyzing Neary from the neck down. Neary wanted to let Christopher Easter see what he'd done and know the impact.
"I just want to focus on getting healthy," Neary told reporters after the hearing.
Neary was shot walking to his Northern Liberties home in Philadelphia, after watching Monday Night Football with some friends on November 15, 2011.
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Easter held him up in the 700 block of Bodine Street.
"Before he [Neary] had a chance to even respond, the male shot him in the head," Police Lt. Patrick Dougherty said at the time of the shooting.
In the last ten months, Neary, who is 29, has has had numerous surgeries and physical therapy.
Neary and nearly a dozen of his friends and family gave emotional testimony at Easter's hearing, before a judge sentenced Easter to a minimum of 30 years behind bars. He could serve up to 60.
Easter apologized to Neary. He said he wasn't thinking clearly the night of the shooting because he was high on PCP.
Neary spent more than half at the hearing, talking about how much his life has changed since the shooting. He now requires care around the clock, living a life dependent on others. When he talked with NBC10 in April, he told us while his road to recovery is physically grueling, his focus is on helping others. He echoed that sentiment today.
"I want to uplift people. I don't want to be a miserable person who walks into a hospital every day and gives somebody a dreary outlook on their life."
Neary and other members of his family made victim impact statements to the court before Easter's sentencing. Easter, 21, pleaded guilty to the shooting. The judge went above the guidelines in sentencing Easter, citing the severe consequences of the shooting.
"I think the verdict is fair, the sentence is fair, considering the nature of the crime," Neary said.