Lockport man gets 30 years for killing elderly father
BY JON SEIDEL Sun-Times Media email@example.com April 13, 2012 10:56AM
Updated: April 13, 2012 4:44PM
A Lockport man was sentenced to 30 years in prison Friday for beating his elderly father to death in July 2010.
A Will County jury found 58-year-old Scott Sullivan guilty in December of murdering his 86-year-old father, Fred Sullivan, in their Lockport home in July 2010.
Fred Sullivan, a World War II veteran who marched at D-Day, didn’t die until November 2010 after he developed pneumonia. And he fell in a nursing home shower two months after the beating. But jurors agreed with prosecutors the wounds inflicted by his son that summer ultimately led to his death.
The son remained defiant despite his conviction, though, when Will County Judge Daniel Rozak began the sentencing process April 2.
“My father died of pneumonia,” Scott Sullivan told the judge, “not of a beating.”
Paramedics found Fred Sullivan on the floor of his son’s living room July 18, 2010, prosecutors said, lying on his back with pattern-mark bruises from head to toe. Scott Sullivan told police his father, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, likely fell as he’d done many times before.
The son said he’d given his father a shower that afternoon, and then they both went to bed. Later, he said he heard his father cry “help,” and found him on the floor.
Prosecutors said police found blood in the living room and dining room — on the carpet, walls and ceiling. They said Scott Sullivan tried to clean up that blood and move furniture, and they said he drank a beer while explaining things to police. Neighbors there had seen the son hit his father in the past, prosecutors said, and they even heard him tell his father once he’d ruined his life.
The beating left Fred Sullivan in need of a feeding tube and unable to walk or talk in the months leading up to his death, according to prosecutors.
But Scott Sullivan’s attorneys said police used opinions and assumptions to build a “tunnel-vision” case against the younger Sullivan. Officers never found a weapon, they said, and Scott Sullivan only tried to clean his father’s wounds. They also pointed to Fred Sullivan’s later fall in the nursing home shower.
Scott Sullivan’s son, Anthony Sullivan, and his estranged wife, Terry Sullivan, told the judge Scott Sullivan is a compassionate, law-abiding and non-violent member of the community who once served on a local school board and used his band to help a charity. They also said he once suffered a brain injury in a fall of his own that left him in a three-week coma.
He faced as many as 60 years in prison.