Man convicted of fatally beating homeless vet in 2013

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) - A Kent County jury today convicted Eric William Sear of second-degree murder for the beating death of a homeless man outside a Grand Rapids halfway house last year.

Jurors deliberated less than three hours before returning its verdict. Sear was also convicted of larceny from a person and conspiracy to commit larceny stemming from the March, 2013 attack.

The victim, 69-year-old Douglas Barry, was found unresponsive at a halfway house on Adams Street near Madison Avenue SE. It was initially reported that Barry had fallen, but investigators quickly determined he was assaulted.

A co-defendant, 32-year-old Cari Lynn Johnson, earlier pleaded guilty to larceny and was sentenced to between one and 15 years in prison.

Sear on Monday rejected a plea deal that would have provided a minimum sentence of between 19 and 31 years. He faces up to life in prison when sentenced May 8.

Judge Mark Trusock revoked Sear's bond and he was returned to the Kent County Jail.


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