Woman Paralyzed After Bullet Pierced Spinal Cord
POSTED: Friday, October 2, 2009
UPDATED: 1:16 pm EDT October 2, 2009
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- A man convicted of conspiring to rape, kidnap and kill a Broward County woman has been sentenced to life in prison.
Allan Sinclair showed no emotion as Judge Marc Gold decided the prison term."I take no pleasure in doing this, but I have no problem with it," Gold said. "I sentence you to life in prison."
The victim, Christine Kent, wept in relief after the judge made the announcement.
"I have closure now, and for that I am grateful," Kent told Local 10's Terrell Forney.
By law, Sinclair could not have been sentenced to a prison term of less than 25 years.
The crime, which happened in August 2007, left Kent permanently paralyzed from the waist down.
Prosecutors said that Sinclair unexpectedly showed up at the home of his friend, Kent, a model and caretaker. Kent said that in the past, Sinclair had tried to be her boyfriend but she denied his advances.
"I hadn't seen him for three years," Kent told Local 10's Rob Schmitt. "He showed up out of the blue. He said he was in the area and thought he'd stop by and say hello."
But according to police, Sinclair went to Kent's home to kidnap, rape and kill her. When he pulled out a gun, Kent tried running out her front door, investigators said.
Sinclair opened fire, hitting Kent in the right foot and spinal cord, paralyzing her, prosecutors said. She has been in a wheelchair ever since.
After the shooting, Sinclair walked outside, investigators said, picked up the bullet casings, got into his SUV and ran over Kent, crushing her abdomen before driving away.
Neighbors said they were too frightened by the gunfire to go outside. A few minutes later, Sinclair, who thought Kent was dead, returned to the woman's home to try to hide her body. He dragged her behind the hedges in the yard and left, according to investigators.
Kent, however, survived the attack and was hospitalized for months.
Prosecutors said they believe Sinclair stalked the woman at her Oakland Park home before carrying out the attack.
Sinclair was convicted of attempted first-degree murder last January.
"I'm going to tell the judge that I believe justice should be served. I have been sentenced to a life in a wheelchair, of pain and suffering. He should be sentenced to life behind bars," Kent said Thursday.
At the sentencing hearing, Sinclair offered an apology to the woman he left for dead.
"I just want to say I'm sorry," said Sinclair. "I am guilty. I hope this does bring you the closure you need."
Kent, who now lives off of government disability, said she needs money for a wheelchair-accessible handicap van so she can leave her home.
Anyone who would like to make a donation to her cause can mail a check to:
150 N. Radnor Chester Road, Suite F-120
Radnor, PA 19087
Checks should be made payable to NTAF Southeast Spinal Cord Injury Fund. In the "memo" line write "In honor of Christine Kent."