New York man gets no jail time after killing his girlfriend

By: John Roberts
Christopher Shears Alfa Choice, jumped off the Tappan Zee Bridge
Sometime pity gets in the way of justice.
A Bronx, New York man that pushed his girlfriend from the Tappan Zee Bridge, in a joint suicide attempt a year ago will not get any jail time after being convicted of murder in the death of his lover, said the authorities.

Christopher Shears, 45, pleaded guilty in Westchester County Court in White Plains to second-degree manslaughter, which carries a maximum sentence of five to 15 years in prison.

Shears and Alfa Choice, 29, jumped together, naked, from the highest point of the bridge on July 12, 2011. Choice, a former graduate at Cornell University and professor at the School of Science in the Bronx, was killed.

The couple actually jumped twice because they first landed on a walkway for the construction of the bridge 6 feet below that they have not seen, authorities said. Then they jumped off the walkway, and the two fell 200 feet into the Hudson River.

"This is a very, very sad, tragic situation," said the attorney for Shears, Robin Bauer. "My client was
about to die, was in intensive care unit for three weeks, then was hospitalized psychiatrically for a long time."

“He continues to undergo intensive psychiatric treatment,” said Bauer.
He said he asked prosecutors to drop charges, given his precarious mental state. He ended up pleading guilty in a section of law that involves assisting a suicide.

Shears will get probation when he is sentenced, said Tracy Everson, a spokeswoman for the Office of the Westchester County District Attorney.


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