The man charged with last year's shooting that paralyzed Daren Dieter - son of Philadelphia consumer advocate Lance Haver - pleaded guilty this morning in a plea agreement that sent him to prison for 15 to 30 years.
Tyree Bohannon, 22, of the city's East Oak Lane neighborhood, pleaded guilty before Common Pleas Court Judge Gwendolyn N. Bright to charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault and having an unlicensed firearm in the Sept. 22, 2007 shooting that left Dieter, 26, a quadraplegic and wounded his friend, Elina Henri, in the arm.
Bohannon apologized to Dieter and the Haver family - "I pray for him every night to get better."- and said he pleaded guilty to accept responsibility for what he did and begin a new life.
But Bohannon angered Dieter and the Havers when Bright asked him why he shot Dieter. Bohannon said he shot Dieter over a $75,000 debt.
"That's news to me," Dieter called out from his wheelchair across the courtroom, adding, "I never had $75,000 in my life."
Dieter afterward denied knowing Bohannon and said he believes he was shot because of a dispute that occurred after he loaned his car to a man who associated with Bohannon and the car was returned days later.
"We believe Bohannon became the executioner," said Assistant District Attorney Peter Erdley.
Dieter spoke movingly for almost 20 minutes in a victim impact statement to the judge, describing his life since he was shot.
"I only exist because I have enough people around me to make me exist," Dieter said.
"There is no justice in this case," Dieter told Bright. "In 15 to 20 years he'll walk away a free man and live the rest of his life. In 15 to 20 years I'll still be incarcerated in my body."