Man who shot and paralyzed Chris Sanna pleads guilty

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – The man who shot and paralyzed St. Louis baseball fan Chris Sanna last September pled guilty to the crime Tuesday, but it won't make life any easier for Sanna.

Simple acts of daily life like going to get a soda from the refrigerator now take advanced planning and much effort.

"It's been horrible; it's been so difficult. It still is. He has so many obstacles, "said his mother Candis Sanna.

The family was in St. Louis Federal Judge Catherine Perry's court room Tuesday afternoon when 32-year-old Kilwa Jones plead guilty to five felony counts. Jones admitted he shot Sanna in late September 2015. It happened on the Gateway Arch grounds near the Old Cathedral. Authorities determined it occurred on federal park land and that is why the case came before a federal judge.

Under a plea bargain arrangement between the U.S. Attorney's office and Jones' defense attorney Scott Rosenblum, two weapons charges were dropped out of the original seven counts. That action will keep Jones from serving an extra 20 years in prison.  The plea bargain asks the judge to impose 25 to 35 years in prison as the penalty for the remaining five charges.

Perry ordered a pre-sentence investigation which she will review before a sentencing hearing on October 6, 2016.

Jones admitted he shot Sanna, robbed Sanna and his girlfriend Lisa Simpson and used a 9 mm semi automatic pistol to commit the crimes.  He also admitted to the charge that he was a felon in possession of a weapon. One key to the sentencing will be whether or not Jones is classified as a "career criminal.”  The judge won't be able to determine that until the pre-sentence report is completed.

Sanna told reporters after the hearing he felt good when Jones plead guilty. "I'm going to get some justice for this tragedy, "Sanna said.

When asked if he was satisfied with the plea bargain deal he said "not necessarily, but it was explained to me that was the best they could do.”

Supporters say Sanna continues to need financial assistance.  He has a Go Fund Me account called Support for Chris.

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