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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

York Man Sentenced To 20 Years In Prison For Violent Armed Carjacking That Left The Victim Paralyzed

     The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Ronald Darnell Sweeney, Jr., age 21, was sentenced today to 240 months’ (20 years) imprisonment by U.S. District Court Judge John E. Jones, III, for the violent armed carjacking that left the victim paralyzed below the waist. Judge Jones further ordered that Sweeney serve three years of supervised release. The request for restitution has been deferred for 90 days. 

     According to United States Attorney Peter J. Smith, on October 5, 2011, Sweeney entered the passenger side of a vehicle parked a few blocks away from an elementary school in which the victim was awaiting the dismissal of a school child. Sweeney pointed a handgun at the victim and instructed the victim to give up the vehicle. The victim fled the vehicle with the vehicle keys in-hand, and ran down the street calling for help. Sweeney chased the victim, then pushed the victim face down onto the ground, grabbed the vehicle keys and shot the victim in the back. Sweeney then fled the scene.

     The victim is now a paraplegic due to the injuries sustained from this shooting.

     At the sentencing hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph J. Terz said, “On October 5, 2011, Mr. Hernandez left his home in York to pick up his grandson at school. When his grandson left school that day, Mr. Hernandez was not there to greet him. Instead, a few blocks from the school, Mr. Hernandez lay face down on a concrete sidewalk bleeding, a bullet in his back and paralyzed. Today, Ronald Sweeney, appears before this court to be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 20 years. The bitter reality is that Mr. Hernandez has already been sentenced. On October 5, 2011, the defendant, Ronald Sweeney, sentenced Mr. Hernandez to life in a wheelchair.”

         Sweeney was indicted in June 2012 and entered a binding plea agreement in January 2013 in which he agreed to plead guilty and serve a 240 month prison sentence.

     The case was investigated by the FBI and the York Police Department. Prosecution was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph J. Terz.

Updated April 9, 2015