Just hours after 24-year-old Andre McCoy was handed his sentence for his role in the murder of a four-year-old Struthers boy, the second actor in the case has learned his fate as well.

Twenty-seven-year-old Kimonie Bryant was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison with credit for 1,358 days served on one count of aggravated murder stemming from the murder of four-year-old Rowan Sweeney in September of 2020.

Once again, Rowan's parents David Sweeney and Alexis Schneider appeared before the court to deliver statements on how the murder of their son has impacted their families.

David noted that since Bryant has a child of his own, he hopes he understands how it feels to lose a child and hopes he did not intend to kill anyone. 

David went on to say Bryant did not own up to any of his actions until three years later when he was offered a plea deal and addressed disrespect he had received over the course of Bryant's case.

"I'll always remember the disrespect I got from family members of [Bryant], disrespected by a female in [Judge D'Apolito's] courtroom as she mocked Rowan's death. [I remember] constantly seeing the hashtag 'free Kimonie Bryant' on Facebook along with posts he had people type for him inside the jail as if he's proud to be incarcerated for his involvement in a child's murder," David said.

Schneider then took the stand wiping tears as she delivered her statement where she detailed not only the impact of Rowan's death, but the injuries she's sustained from being shot on the night of the murder.

"My arm was shattered completely in half, I have bullet fragments stuck in my heart, I am partially deaf because of the gun blasts [and] I've had three extensive surgeries on my arm just to get it into a state of functioning properly," Schneider said

Bryant's attorney, John Juhasz told judge Anthony D'Apolito Bryant was not aware that there was a young child in the home prior to arriving at the house to commit the robbery because McCoy, the only one who did know, never told him.


Kimonie Bryant, back, center, was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday in the death of 4-year-old Rowan Sweeney


Bryant briefly took the stand to apologize to the family.

"If they can find it in their hearts to forgive me for everything that happened that day, I'd appreciate it. They don't have to, but I apologize for everything that happened that day," Bryant said.

Judge D'Apolito said unlike other similar cases he's seen, Bryant has had some sort of a support system in his life, but nevertheless still chose to participate in the crime and told Bryant he hopes the feeling of guilt stays with him for the rest of his life.

"You may not have pulled the trigger, but to me you are just as responsible for this tragedy. You should feel nothing but shame, and if you have a conscience of guilt, then these are thoughts that should overwhelm you. And while I cannot make it a part of my sentence, I hope you feel these things for the rest of your life," Judge D'Apolito said.

Bryant as the second of three men to be sentenced in connection with the crime with McCoy being sentenced earlier Tuesday morning. He was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.

This leaves one final defendant to be sentenced in the form of 21-year-old Brandon Crump, who a jury found to be the one who fired the murder weapon the night of the crime.

Bryant's sentencing came after months of delays following a motion filed by the prosecution accusing him of lying during his plea deal.

Prosecutors said Bryant claimed he never saw any of the money obtained by the robbery of Yarnell Green, which was coordinated by Bryant and McCoy.

However, prosecutors say data showed that Crump and Bryant's cell phone location data had matched up at a home on Cassius Avenue following the incident and the money shown in a video taken by Crump did not match the amount that was stolen.

When questioned about this, prosecutors say Bryant told them the Cassius stop was made for the two to split the money from the robbery before he took Crump home, which contradicted his previous statement.

Because of this, the prosecution filed a motion asking Judge D'Apolito to take Bryant's plea deal off the table.

However, a motion filed on behalf of Bryant by Juhasz argued that Bryant was truthful about everything except for that one detail and said some inconsistencies in McCoy's testimony during Crump's trial were much more egregious.

"Ask any prosecutor of any measurable trial experience involving testifying defendants and they will all say that cooperating witnesses lie about something. It is part of the landscape, part of the fabric of a criminal case," Juhasz said in the motion.

In the end, Judge D'Apolito denied the prosecution's request and Bryant's plea deal remained in place. During David's impact statement, he told the judge he disagrees with this decision.

"It will never be fair that any of [the defendants] get a possibility of parole, while Rowan doesn't get a second chance at life," David said.