9- to 18-year term in stomping death of neighbor

A West Philadelphia man who pleaded guilty to third-degree murder in the unexplained stomping death of a 63-year-old neighbor was sentenced to nine to 18 years in prison Tuesday by a Philadelphia judge.

"As God is my witness, I never meant for this to happen," Kareem Mosley said before sentencing in the Dec. 29, 2012, death of Richard Eley.

Referring to his five young children, Mosley, 24, asked Common Pleas Court Judge Benjamin Lerner for "sympathy and to extend leniency regarding my fate."

Lerner was unmoved: "I don't think you can expect leniency, and I don't think you can expect too much sympathy."

Eley was beaten unconscious by Mosley in the vestibule of Eley's house in the 800 block of South Vogdes Street in West Philadelphia. Eley remained unconscious for eight months, his limbs atrophied and contracted, until he died in a nursing home.

At a preliminary hearing last year, Mosley was identified by a passerby who testified that on April 1, 2012, he heard screams coming from Eley's house, rushed in, and pulled Mosley off the older man's body and threw him outside.

Assistant District Attorney Jan McDermott said Mosley lived a few blocks from Eley and had a record of four juvenile arrests and 11 as an adult - all in the 18th Police District.

"He was a major nuisance," McDermott said.

Defense attorney Gerald A. Stein presented eight of Mosley's relatives and friends as evidence of his strong family support.

Stein asked Lerner for a sentence near the lower end of the term recommended by state guidelines: eight years. Stein cited Mosley's family support, his psychological problems, including Tourette's syndrome and bipolar illness, and his decision to plead guilty and accept responsibility.


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