Former DYRS ward sentenced for killing honor student

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A 20-year-old D.C. man was sentenced to 60 years in prison on Friday for killing a 17-year-old honor roll student who was walking back to his Northeast home with a friend last year after a brief jaunt for cigarettes.

Kwan Kearney was convicted last month of first-degree murder for the Nov. 8, 2010, confrontation that left Joseph Sharps Jr. dead and his friend with a wounded leg.

A jury also found Kearney guilty of intent to kill while armed, aggravated assault while armed and a firearms offense.

Kearney, from the Trinidad section of Northeast, was a ward of the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services at the time of the killing and faces trial next month for the shooting death in Northwest of another teenager just six days after the Sharps incident.

Sharps had just finished his music homework and borrowed $2 from his mother for the run to the nearby gas station when he and a friend walked by Kearney and two other men on Holbrook Street in Northeast.

As they passed, Kearney bumped Sharps and asked why he was “pump fakin’,” but Sharps denied he was reaching for anything in his pocket and then shrugged in confusion, the U.S. attorney said.

Kearney pulled a Colt .38-caliber revolver from his waistband and shot Sharps in the stomach, leg and shoulder. Sharps‘ friend was shot in the leg.

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