Mother of murder victim speaks out after sentencing

An Erie man charged with murder faces 23-47 years in prison

05/23/2017 - A man convicted of murder was sentenced Tuesday.  

Darion Eady, 22, was found guilty of murder in the third degree in February in the shooting death of Elijah Jackson, 16, at a house party at 230 West 29th St. on July 24, 2015.

Judge William Cunningham sentenced Eady to 23 years, 10 months to 47 years, 8 months in prison Tuesday afternoon.

Vanessa Belen, Jackson's mother says, "I can't sit here and say that I'm happy or elated because that would be a lie. I don't feel like that. I just feel a sense of relief."

District Attorney Jack Daneri said the sentence is fair.

Daneri says, "Even after this shooting happened, he has five convictions for various crimes after July 24, 2015. What impacted him at all since supposedly his friend Elijah Jackson was killed? Nothing. And so the court was spot on, we believe, by saying that this individual show no remorse, whether he asserts his innocence or not and he presents a clear and present danger to the community."

Eady's sentencing was delayed because his attorney filed a motion for a new trial due to jury misconduct.

The judge denied that motion.

However Eady's attorney, Bruce Sandmeyer, says the case isn't over yet.

Sandmeyer says Eady plans to appeal the conviction and sentence.

Sandmeyer says, "As he stated in sentencing and I stated for him, he asserts his innocence to this day."

The sentencing hearing in the courtroom was very emotional for both families.

Eady's mother and step father speaking out.

Belen and her best friend speaking on Jackson's behalf.

Both families say there's no issues between the two families.

Belen says her only issue is with the man who pulled the trigger - Eady.

Belen says, "I don't hate him. I've tried, and I just don't have that to do. I can't carry that with me. I hate what he did, and I hate that he took my son's life, but I don't hate him. So because of that I know maybe one day, just not today, he'll get forgiveness from me."

Eady was originally arrested in relation to a double homicide involving two teenage friends, Shakur Franklin and Jackson. But, four others are charged with the death of Franklin: Demond Mitchell, Stephen Russell, Jahaun Jones and Keshawn McLaurin.

The trial for those four defendants is postponed at this time.

The attorneys in that case recently went before the Superior Court in Pittsburgh to argue the case should not move forward based on hearsay testimony.

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